Tony Khan: We Were Beating Up Some Of Our Biggest Stars Too Much

The final live episode of AEW Dynamite in 2019 finished with the Dark Order throwing phantom punches against The Elite. 

The episode was criticized by fans and pundits and forced Tony Khan and company to rethink things during the break. 

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"Getting back to our bread and butter wrestling was good. We were beating up some of our big stars too much. We put a lot of resources into people and had to re-look at our stories and where we were at with them," Khan said about the "reset" coming into 2020 when appearing on The Pro Wrestling Torch podcast.

Khan continued, elaborating on how some focus has shifted in 2020. 

"For me, a big focus -- I try to look at other sources peripheral to AEW like Being The Elite for ideas. I saw Hangman on Being The Elite doing his drunk character. He had never done that on Dynamite. I was like, 'That's Hangman from now.' We're almost a year into it and it's completely changed him and he connects with people in a different way, he's a more three-dimensional wrestler. There was a connection between him and the crowd that he still needed to get. We found it and now he has everything he needs. It was already within him. It's similar to John Silver, when I saw his character on Being The Elite and I said, 'This is what you need to do on Dynamite, this is going to connect with people.' There are things like that where we need to change the presentation of people," he said. 

Hangman was arguably the most popular wrestler in AEW at the start of 2020 with the live crowds. Silver has become the focal point on Dark Order in recent months and even won the Being The Elite Championship this past Monday. 

Khan said that he was happy to establish some long-term programs at the beginning of the year and pointed to the May 6 show as being a big turning point. 

If you use any of the quotes above, please give a h/t and link back to Fightful for the transcription. 


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