Tony Khan has been writing episodes of AEW television since he was a kid, putting various matches and segments together in his notebook.
He's been able to turn his notebook into reality since the inception of AEW in January 2019 and the launch of AEW Dynamite in October 2019, plus the launch of AEW Rampage in August 2021.
Speaking to Forbes, Khan explained his creative process and how he stays organized.
"I did lean more on people around me," Khan said when discussing writing TV as AEW Dynamite premiered. "I would try to trust my instincts, but it's hard when you don't have as much experience. I do take a lot of pride in the booking. I work with a lot of really smart people. What I think I do a good job of is being organized dealing with a lot of different people and going through ideas. I have a lot of great, creative minds that are in the company that I have full-time access to like Chris Jericho, Christian Cage, Jon Moxley has great ideas. Now, CM Punk, Bryan Danielson, and Adam Cole have come in with great ideas. We have a lot of awesome things happening right now and I'm proud of that and I try to keep it all organized and balanced. I've found that it's helped me a lot, writing the shows myself. I don't understand the idea of having a lot of different people write the show and then a person would go in the day of and rip it to pieces and try to come up with new ideas. To be honest, when I hear about somebody going in and they have a TV show on Monday that they rip up, my first thought is, 'What were you doing all weekend?' I work my ass off on the weekends. I have to come in with a plan for Wednesday and Friday night. I want to make sure Dynamite and Rampage is great."
He continued by saying, "I don't do everything myself, but I do make the final decision on everything. I put the format together, I put an outline on what the show is going to be for Dynamite and Rampage and write it by hand. I don't understand why you're going to come in and rip up a show that you should have a pretty good idea of what it is and you should have approved it where Monday, you know what we're doing. Things change on the day of a show, not that I ever change my mind on the day of, I do, but not where I change everything. I might change one or two things around on instinct or because something happened, but for the most part, I like to have a good idea of what's going to be on the show next week and the week after. I really believe that the fans like that we try our best not to insult their intelligence and I do try to make the shows compelling and logical. That's one of the challenges because a lot of times, people come to you with ideas and it's hard because everyone has their own approaches and philosophies, but there is a tone to the show. I really just want people to go out and make points and keep the stories going but I'm not so autocratic that I want to control every word somebody says on television and that's also why some of our interviews, storytelling, and promos are really strong."
Khan has often noted that he will take input from wrestlers and producers, good and bad, but he ultimately has the final say as to what makes television.
Fans can find results from past episodes of AEW Dynamite and Rampage at Fightful's results section.
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