As PWMania.com previously reported, Dave Meltzer and Garrett Gonzales spoke with Tony Khan on Wrestling Observer Radio.
Tony Khan expressed that he does not intend to sell AEW or take the company public on any stock exchange while he is still alive, which was one of the many topics that were covered in the conversation. He complimented Jim Crockett Promotions but also stated that he did not wish to sell to Ted Turner in the same manner that they did.
“My goal is to keep this going forever. I think it’s not even an apples to apples comparison with Eric Bischoff’s WCW, because he had a lot of things working against him being owned by another company and not being able to make his decisions for the livelihood of the promotion, and not getting rights fees for TV and a lot of other things that I’m sure Eric would point out. But at the end of the day, my goal, I would compare this more like Jim Crockett promotions. I don’t ever want to have to be in a position … I’m never gonna put myself in a position where we have to sell this business as long as I’m alive.
“No, this is a family business,” Khan said when asked about taking the company public. “From the beginning, if you look at how I’ve set up the routing of the tours, and sometimes people say I make conservative decisions, but it’s also because I don’t want to end up like Crockett Promotions and end up in somebody else’s hands. This is a family business. Theirs was around for a long time, but some mismanagement, and trusting people and letting people take your checkbook, letting people take your TV book and your pay-per-view booking. And you see what can happen. So people say I keep my fingers in a lot of pies, whether it’s all the creative, or the booking of the buildings or how the business is run, but I’ve also seen that it’s the most successful way to run a wrestling promotion is to manage the entire thing from the top down, and not let people screw you. Because if you turn your in this business, people will screw you at every turn I’ve learned, and not just the people that work for you. But anybody from the outside if you show weakness.”
Also, while Khan was talking about AEW business, the future, and his purchase of ROH, he disclosed that he paid less for ROH than Jim Crockett Promotions did for the UWF. The purchase price of the UWF was $4.2 million.
Khan said, “I think this is the start of a really big time for us. So in talking about some of that…it’s a relevant comparison. Like I said, I think the promotion AEW is probably more like Jim Crockett Promotions, and honestly acquiring Ring of Honor, it’s different. I paid a lot less for Ring of Honor than they paid for the UWF man. Yeah.”
(h/t to WrestlingNews.co for the transcription)