AEW President and CEO Tony Khan appeared on the most recent edition of the AEW Unrestricted podcast and had a lot to say about the growth and early success of his new wrestling company. In particular, he revealed what the originally planned name for AEW was, as well as had thoughts on their relationship with TNT moving forward.
In regards to the AEW name, Khan had an original name and mind that maybe wasn't as unique as what they originally went with (via Wrestling Inc.).
"It wasn't AEW to begin with," Khan said. "Actually, my first idea was something called 'World's Best Wrestling' which, at the end of the day, similar meaning to All Elite Wrestling trying to say we're going great wrestling."
Khan went on to talk about his theory that live weekly wrestling is the best route for a new company and also discussed their recent contractual renewal with TNT.
"We did this not so that I could do this job that I've always wanted to do for fun but because I believe that if we ran this business and it's part of the business plan that we had a really good chance to do exactly what we've just done: to get a renewal from TNT, to stay on this great channel [and] to bring wrestling fans weekly TV and not the kind of weekly TV that other companies have been offering like taping in theme parks and taping four [or] five shows a month. Then you get to week three [or] week four, things aren't fresh anymore," Khan said. "The idea of taping TV three [or] four weeks in advance, it just did not sit well with me, and it's not something that I wanted to do which is why we bare the great expense we do every week like we are this week in going to a different city almost every week and presenting almost always live shows. I think that's something that had been missing from the wrestling business."
Growing up a fan of WCW and wrestling in general, Khan noted how Nitro become successful by running a new market every week with live television.
"When you look back, I mean Tony (Schiavone) you were there, the most successful kind of new start-up show in the mid-to-late '90s, Nitro, started to air. I think a big key element was you guys went to different cities and that you were live and you had the state of the art production values. Dynamite looks a hell of a lot better in terms of being HD and all of the things we can do now with the technology vs. what SD Nitro looked like, but definitely, for the late '90s, Nitro was a state of the art, cutting edge show," Khan said. "I felt like, for us, if somebody were to go do that, to make those investments in the quality and show people that they care about the show and they're gonna invest in it. We're a big company. It's not like we're gonna get bullied out of the wrestling business."
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