Tony Khan On AEW Being Under Constant Attack By Negative Fans

Certain fans are very critical of AEW, the way Tony Khan books the product, and the way the matches are presented.

There has been more negativity this week as a result of the reported meeting between WWE and Warner Bros. Discovery this week in New York at WBD headquarters regarding Raw’s media rights deal. AEW’s TV deal with WBD runs until the end of 2024.

Khan addressed the criticism while speaking with the media at the ROH Final Battle media scrum.

“To be AEW is to be under constant attack. You do a great show and the next day somebody’s saying something negative. You do five great shows in a row, somebody says something negative. You break the ticket record for the most tickets ever sold for a wrestling show in the history of the world and somebody has something bad to say about it. At this point, I don’t worry about it. We just need to go out and do great shows week after week like we did. We were the number one show on cable this week on Wednesday. We beat every single show on TV on Wednesday out of hundreds and hundreds of shows across hundreds of networks. And if we continue doing it, everybody here’s going to be in a good position.”

Khan discussed how, due to its engagement, the majority of wrestling fans are constantly on X/Twitter. He discussed how other leagues, such as the NFL, are distributed across more platforms. He believes X/Twitter can be an echo chamber, and there is a lot of mistrust.

“You can have a great day in the business, like, do the number one show, and people try and tell you you didn’t do something great. Or you can break the world record for the most tickets ever sold to any wrestling show ever and have this massive, huge success on pay-per-view and just hit a home run in. The wrestling’s great and everything’s great, and still people are trying to tell you there’s some problem with it or some detrimental. I have news for you. When people the drop count of the show, when people posted, the number of people that go through the turnstiles, I’ve never heard of somebody posting a turnstile count, which is like, there’s so many ways to get into a show and there’s so many people I talked to that bought tickets that did not have to go through the turnstiles. But take that aside for a second. The turnstile count that is so normal for North American pro sports, even if it was 73 out of 81, that would be over the average of a show rate for North American pro sports. So if you take the average like the big four pro sports game in America versus like the tickets purchased, and then the people who actually go through the gate, if people talk like that was abnormal.”

Khan continued, “To be AEW, no matter how good you do, there will be people coming for you, gunning for you. Because that’s what this is. There’s a reason that every single person who stepped into my position until now has gone out of business. I’m the only one left. Everybody who stepped up and put millions of dollars into this and done it week after week, and there’s no offseason, you do it 52 weeks a year, it’s a fight. And that’s a credit to the fans. I know what it is to be a wrestling fan 52 weeks a year. It’s hard. But it’s also the most rewarding thing. That’s why you can’t get away from it for too long. That’s why we always come back to it. We’re addicted and it’s worth fighting.”

(h/t to for the transcription)