Tony Khan Was Going To Start A Company Before All In, Says AEW Wouldn't Be Here Without Kevin Reilly

All In was billed as the "largest independent wrestling event ever" and though it helped lead to AEW, Tony Khan already had the idea for a wrestling promotion in his head. Without Khan, there would be no AEW. And without Kevin Reilly, there would be no AEW on TNT.

Speaking on the All Out media call, Khan was asked about Reilly, who exited TNT in August after a restructuring. 

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"Without Kevin, there would quite possibly not be AEW. I say that because at the point where we didn't have a deal and I wasn't sure the show was going to be on TNT, I had gotten far enough down the road where I knew I wanted to do this. It was a crazy process," said Khan. "All In was a hugely important show for the wrestling business. I was going to start a wrestling company before All In. I've seen people say, 'there wouldn't be AEW without All In.' There probably would be AEW without All In, but I don't know if it would be the same success or how it would have gone off."

He continued, "Kevin was the guy who opened a lot of doors. When I went to All In, I wanted to see how it went. I knew the guys had drawing power and I wanted to see a good show, but whether it was a good or bad show, there was going to be AEW. I had gone to Kevin on a whim. I told him I was going to be starting a wrestling company and if he was going to be bidding on media rights for wrestling, he should talk to me. It wasn't like Kevin just greenlit the show. I spent almost a year before I had any commitment from them. He put me at the ground level with marketing and media, and we got to the point where I wasn't sure the show was going to be on TNT, but I had gotten so far down the road before I had a deal with them that I needed to do this. I knew it was going to be a viable business. If I hadn't gone to Kevin, I never would have had the guts to start this company and the guys might have found another person to work with, but I don't think anyone would have made an eight-figure commitment into starting a business like we made. I don't think I'd be here or AEW would be here without Kevin Reilly."

AEW's contract with TNT runs through 2023 after the promotion was extended in January. 

You can learn more about Reilly's exit from TNT by clicking here.

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