Wednesday's AEW Dynamite was highlighted by the main event of Samoa Joe vs. Minoru Suzuki, which saw Joe capture the ROH Television Championship.
After the bout, Jay Lethal and Sonjay Dutt had a surprise for Joe. After Lethal flipped off Joe, the lights went out and when they came back on, Satnam Singh stood behind Joe before laying waste to the new ROH TV Champion.
The debut didn't go over well with fans as they weren't sure who Singh was as he had never appeared on AEW TV and wasn't a well-known name in the world of wrestling.
Speaking on Busted Open Radio, Tony Khan addressed criticisms of the debut.
"I could have done it better. It's one of those things, I wish I had done it differently because the fans are always going to be right so if the fans don't like something...sometimes, there is something where you're trying to get heat, so if you're in a 'trying to get heat,' situation people aren't always going to love it, but there are things about it that I probably should've done differently, now that I see in hindsight. To be honest, it wasn't my idea to turn the lights out, but I am the ultimate filter and who everything goes through. I put the outline of the show together and when I came in Wednesday, I thought it was the best outline I had ever put together, one of them, at least. It was as much strong wrestling as you can fit into the program and I thought up until that point, the show was excellent. That was the one thing we went off on. People might not have liked it. Satnam is an important person for us, it was important to debut him in a meaningful way and to show that, with Jay Lethal, he's going to be a force to be reckoned with," he said.
Khan continued, discussing the decision to debut him by turning the lights off and how no one in the production meeting saw the negatives when it was mentioned.
" At the same time, turning the lights off for somebody people didn't recognize, it's a great point. To be honest, the person who brought off turning the lights off has over 30 years of experience in pro wrestling. When they brought it up to me, I was only looking at the pros and I should have thought about the cons, because that is my job as the person who decides what goes in and who filters out these ideas. We have all these people in the room and somehow, not one person brought up the negative. When we did it, all the negatives were very obvious. I'm not going to say who it was and I don't need to list all the credentials of all the great people around me in the production meeting, but it was a lot of veteran people. Nobody said that and when it happened, I agreed with the fans completely," he said. "When it came up, I said, 'that could work, it's different.' I was looking for how to physically get him in there for that moment and somebody, like I said, with over 30 years of experience said, 'we could turn the lights out and do this' and I went, 'Okay.' I should have seen the negatives before we did it and I really didn't see them until it actually happened. That's not Satnam's fault, it's definitely not Jay Lethal's fault. At the same time, I'm very excited for it. It created a lot of buzz. Satnam's debut has been the most-watched thing out of the show and it's gotten international attention I wanted it to get, but I didn't want it to loom over a lot of great stuff on the show either and I don't think it has or will."
Fightful Select reported Grapsody's Will Washington learned that the move to debut Singh was done intentionally after the Discovery-Warnermedia merger as a big angle for Eurosport. Discovery owns Eurosport, which is also All Elite Wrestling's India TV partner.
The segment has 686,000 views on YouTube, making it the most-watched segment from Wednesday's AEW Dynamite.
Khan closed by saying, "I appreciate what their feedback was and now that I'm in my third year, I would not do that again and these are things you learn."
QT Marshall, who helped train Singh, said fans should give him a chance. You can find his full comments by clicking here.
If you missed anything from AEW Dynamite, check out Fightful's full report on the show by clicking here.
If you use any of the quotes above, please credit the original source with a h/t and link back to Fightful for the transcription.