AEW's Tony Khan on How Media Partners Have Responded to Blood On Their Programming

All Elite Wrestling hasn't been afraid to air violent, bloody matches on its programming since AEW Dynamite first arrived on TNT back in October 2019. Some of the promotion's bloodiest matches — Chris Jericho vs. Nick Gage, Thunder Rosa vs. Britt Baker's No Holds Barred Match, Anna Jay & Tay Conti vs. The Bunny & Penelope Ford, the first Blood & Guts Match and multiple Cody Rhodes matches all come to mind — have aired live on free TV. And while there has been some pushback from AEW's critics (particularly involving Gage and a pizza cutter), AEW president Tony Khan told News 12 Long Island this week that the company's media partners haven't been bothered by it. 

"It's certainly not every week, you don't see it on a weekly basis," Khan said (h/t Fightful). "Occasionally, there are big matches and it's only when the circumstance is such that it's a big street fight or these big crazy matches or fights ahead of a pay-per-view where things have gotten crazy and there has been a big melee. For the most part, we do try to focus on the wrestling, the best interviews, the most exciting wrestlers, a lot of high fliers, technical wrestling, and a lot of crazy brawling too. 

"For the most part, you see a focus on the in-ring action, but every once and awhile, when things have gotten out of hand, it's been old school pro wrestling in a way that has been very healthy and has been well-received by our media partners and fans. It's almost been universally praised and when it hasn't, overall, we've done well on the aggregate and most of the focus is on wrestling and not the brawling, but you see some of the old-school brawling too and that's part of pro wrestling and that's what makes it fun," he added.

WWE released a statement regarding that Jay/Conti/Bunny/Ford Street Fight to the Toronto Star back in mid-January, calling the match "gory self-mutilation." They stated at the time, "If you look at the gory self-mutilation that bloodied several women in the December 31 event on TNT, it quickly becomes clear that these are very different businesses. We had an edgier product in the 'Attitude' era and in a 2022 world, we don't believe that type of dangerous and brutal display is appealing to network partners, sponsors, venues, children, or the general public as a whole." Wrestlers responded to that comment by proudly posting photos from the match.