Tony Khan Explains Why AEW Works With So Many Other Wrestling Companies

When AEW president Tony Khan opened the "forbidden door" back in late 2020 it effectively created an entire network of professional wrestling promotions sharing its wrestlers. In the past year alone AEW has collaborated with Impact Wrestling, the National Wrestling Alliance, New Japan Pro-Wrestling, Game Changer Wrestling and Lucha Libre AAA, leading to such moments as Kenny Omega becoming the "Belt Collector," KENTA invading AEW Dynamite, the NWA Women's World Championship and the IWGP United States Championship being defended on Dynamite, Nick Gage fighting Chris Jericho in a televised deathmatch and Christian Cage winning the Impact World Championship on AEW Rampage's premiere episode.

Khan appeared on the Tuesday Wrestling Tuesday's Jonathan Hood this week and explained why he implemented the strategy of working with numerous other companies. He cited how Vince McMahon Sr. used a similar strategy while running the World Wide Wrestling Federation, saying (h/t Fightful), "Vince Sr was really cooperative. He booked Andre (The Giant) out all over the country. He would work for AWA and would go to Mid South and work in Houston. Wrestling was much more collaborative before the mid-80s and it was actually one person that made the business less collaborative. I'm trying to bring some of that spirit back. When Vince Sr was running the New York territory, it was a much more collaborative thing," said Khan.


He continued — "Impact, AAA, and certainly New Japan, I've done a lot of stuff with. It has to make sense for AEW and we've seen wrestlers from AEW go and capture championships in different promotions around the world. A lot of AEW wrestlers still hold championships in various promotions around the world and it's good for those promotions to have such strong recognizable champions who have a great TV platform to wear their titles and it's good for us because it shows that we're the top company in wrestling, frankly, and a lot of companies out there have had our wrestlers come in and do really well. I'm very open to it and it shows good bonds between the companies and allows us access to good wrestlers. We have one of the best rosters, but it's always good to have fresh and different talent. It's why I like working with other companies. Also, New Japan has had big shows and have great talent specifically. I've done a lot of things with them. The main focus is on AEW and our shows. We have such a big roster and so much bandwidth that it allows us to expand, partner, and help other wrestling companies."