As we previously reported, AEW President Tony Khan talked with Chris Van Vliet earlier this week in Jacksonville about a number of topics surrounding AEW. Khan gave his thoughts on people comparing AEW to WCW, the last company to truly rival WWE back in the 90s.
"I don't want to compare us to any other wrestling company," Khan said. "We're AEW and we're doing something very different. What's great is what we will offer, which will bring people back to 20 years ago, and there will be a major alternative. There will be a second company with great production values and great exposure, it'll be easy to watch and give you shows with the top wrestlers and the best matches on a regular basis. That's something that hasn't been readily available to people outside of WWE in a long time, almost 20 years."
With WWE being more of a PG product, having a show that leans slightly more towards adults is one way AEW will help differentiate itself to audiences. As a big fan of ECW, Khans expects the product to have some edgy aspects to it, but will be more advertiser friendly compared to ECW.
"I think we are doing some very edgy things and I think what you see on our social media is not necessarily what you will see in our television product which I do expect to be much more advertiser friendly than ECW," Khan replied. "But that doesn't mean that we won't push the envelope sometimes, that doesn't mean that you won't see really exciting high spots. A lot of what made ECW great was the work and we're going to have the best caliber in ring stuff in the world."
After giving it some consideration, Khan said he doesn't plan on having much of an on-air role once the weekly shows start rolling along. With performers like Chris Jericho, Cody Rhodes, etc, he doesn't see the need to interject himself into the product like that.
"I have thought about it and I'm not going to do it," Khan said." We have some of the greatest on-air performers in the world and look, I am who I am in the promotion. I am the president and the CEO and the founder of this company, but it's not going to be me all over TV, and I'm not going to be doing a lot of interviews or backstage segments on television."
Over the weekend, a masked CM Punk did a run-in at MKE Wrestling's The Last Knight in Wisconsin. It was also reported earlier this week that Punk would have been Khan's number one pick to start AEW. When asked about Punk signing with the promotion, Khan didn't really give an answer one way or the other, instead, praising Punk's talents.
"He's a great talent and a great performer, I don't know if that was Phil in the ring, but he's great," Khan said. "I'm from Illinois and I grew up around Chicago sports and he's obviously very popular there."
You can check out Khan's full comments in the video above.