AEW President Tony Khan has explained why he doesn’t hold creative meetings with the promotion’s Executive Vice Presidents anymore.
It’s been documented in recent months that Khan has taken more control of things himself rather than the EVPs (Cody Rhodes, Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks) being as involved in things as they once were.
There have been reports and little bits of evidence of some heat behind-the-scenes between Rhodes and the other three too, and in a new interview with PWTorch, Tony Khan has spoken some more about their roles.
“They are still very involved in a lot of aspects of the business, and a lot of those things have been enhanced. The amount of development of huge resources that we have allocated to building a great console video game. Kenny Omega has led a team and really spearheaded this project with our staff. He has been such a great leader. So, Kenny Omega has helped lead the company in a few different ways in the past couple of years.
“Working with the Young Bucks and Cody, they’re great leaders backstage with the wrestlers. I have been pretty open. It’s not because of anybody other than me that I have probably gotten a little bit more hands-on with the stuff I do than when we started. But that makes sense because I had never worked with a wrestling company. I had only come in from the outside, so I was organizing a lot of things at the beginning and I was the head of a committee, and I think there are a lot of drawbacks to trying to book a wrestling show with a committee. Even if you are at the forefront of it, it’s a mindboggling, difficult process.”
Tony Khan went onto explain when the shift started happening, and the benefits he’s seen it produce:
“Around the start of 2020, the end of 2019, I moved more towards me writing the show, and I think it helped. And I think the show has been better for it. Not because everybody doesn’t have any good ideas, because they’re still contributing their ideas, that part hasn’t changed. The idea of getting everybody in a room together and trying to spitball ideas, and then three people get really into one idea and they get 10 steps down the road on it, and the other two people are like, ‘What is this?’ That’s just an example.
“But in general, I have found it much easier and more productive if I just try to organize a show at home between shows and have a good idea arriving for TV what I want to do next week. Which is why, generally, until we get pretty close to the pay-per-view, we are always announcing matches a week ahead. Then when we get closer to the pay-per-views and we are building the pay-per-views, and I am only announcing a few things as opposed to the whole card.”
Tony Khan then said he couldn’t name one particular EVP he works the best with because he has different relationships with them all, adding:
“They are all still very involved in stories, and I talk to all four of them a ton about not just their programs, but what I am doing with other people. But I am just trying to be organized in a different way, and I talk to them all and have more compartmentalized conversations. It has helped me be better organized, especially to get through the pandemic when there were no in-person meetings. It worked out even better because I had already been going in that direction.
“I think they all have great points, and I come to share a lot of common ground with all four of them about different ideas. I probably talk to Matt and Nick as a pair more than as individuals because we have a group chat and the three of us talk all the time. I really like all four guys and I have different relationships with all four guys, although, similar relationships with Matt and Nick. But even those are different relationships. I think it’s all of them and that’s what makes it work.
“I don’t agree with everything on all of them, and that is why there’s a lot of different flavors in the show for different styles of wrestling in an AEW episode, because I like lots of different stuff and they like lots of different stuff. There are lots of different creative influences in one company, and I like a lot of the stuff they like. There’s a lot of common ground but they have a lot of different philosophies, but the overarching philosophy at the end of the day is stuff that I can get on board with.”
WrestleTalk.com will of course have live coverage of AEW Dynamite tonight, Rampage on Friday, and Full Gear on Saturday.
Quotes via Wrestling Inc
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