AEW Post-Forbidden Door Media Scrum: Tony Khan, Mercedes Mone, Toni Storm, Swerve Strickland & more

Recap by:

Renee Paquette welcomed AEW TBS & NJPW Strong Women’s Champion Mercedes Mone and AEW President Tony Khan.

Young asked Mone what she learned wrestling Stephanie Vaquer tonight. She said she could not believe her whole year. She was supposed to come for the Strong title last year and felt like she was in the Upside Down in Stranger Things. Then she came to AEW, won the TBS Champion and is now the double champ. Vaquer is the greatest luchador she has ever been in the ring with but she still won. She claimed George Clooney sent her a huge bottle of tequila to celebrate. Tony Khan joked it was too early to have tequila in the scrum.

Mone said a “b**ch” came out to ruin her party, but she will party all night long and questioned who Britt Baker thought she was. She was the first woman signed to AEW but Mone is the biggest free agent to sign here. Any woman who wants to try her can come on this Wednesday on Dynamite.

Mone talked up wanting to fight the best in the world, which led to Khan talking about the competitors in the company.

Mone was asked about training in Mexico and having the chance to have a “legit” lucha match. Mone said everyone knows her favorite wrestler of all time is Eddy Guerrero and she grew up watching Rey Mysterio. She said it felt amazing to go and train all over with Mexico with Ricky Marvin, Juventud Gurrera, Skayde and Bandido to prepare for any luchador who steps in the ring with her. She stated she was now the greatest luchador.

Mone said it was her fourth match in the company and she feels better than ever. She said she felt she was just getting started.

Zack Sabre Jr. was next. He was asked what was next for him after beating Orange Cassidy at the PPV. He noted it was his first AEW PPV victory. He said he knew Orange Cassidy was cool ten years ago before “all of you” saying he was losing his mind watching Cassidy then on Northeastern independents. If anyone disregards how talents Cassidy is, “they are a f***ing idiot.” Sabre said they have the G1 Climax in three weeks and it’s the most important tournament in all of wrestling and his goal is to reach the top of NJPW, not as a foreigner, but to be at the top and to carry it into the future.

Sabre said he was happy with the match and it’s what it should have been. Cassidy wasn’t just keeping up with him, he was right there with him. He said that story is over.

Sabre was asked about being the face of the UK style. He said he debuted in 2002 in a weird time for UK wrestling. It had lost television and said he was lucky that he was trained by Andre Baker’s Hammerlock Wrestling School, where Finn Balor and Becky Lynch and others were trained and he was fortunate to be at that school. The training was solely British wrestling and he wrestles that way because it’s the style that inspires him the most. His goal isn’t to be a retro wrestler because had British wrestling remained on TV, it would have evolved. He wants to do a modern version and not just be trapped in what it was before. H said AEW changed pro wrestling because now there’s a big promotion that admires and respects professional wrestling. He praised the main event. He said it was special because everyone invested in their characters and then the crazy match was a bonus.

Sabre said the Forbidden Door was Forbidden but now it’s naughty. It was unparalleled that there were four companies that are completely intertwined. He will wrestle Hechichero at Rev Pro in London before All In. He was just in CMLL. MJF wrestled Hechichero. Who knows what will happen next?

Sabre was coy about where he might wrestle Bryan Danielson again and commented they need to have at least one more match in UK before looking at Tony Khan. He wrestled Danielson when Bryan didn’t know who he was in the UK and he can’t pay back Bryan enough for the confidence he instilled in Sabre.

AEW Women’s Champion Toni Storm was next. She read a “ditty” she claimed to have written this AM. It was America the Beautiful with the line about botherhood changed to “sisterhood.” She invited STARDOM’s Mina Shirakawa to the stage. She presented her with a foam Statue of Liberty crown and they danced and did some shenanigans. Toni then declared she had no time for questions as that was OK because they were “probably sh**” anyway.

AEW Champion Swerve Strickland and Prince Nana were next. Strickland said tonight was humbling but was also about proving everyone wrong yet again. He said that his entire career, people had expectations of him and he had to keep breaking through the ceiling. He and Will had chips on their shoulders to prove AEW was special and they are competitive. Strickland said he wants to get into opponent’s heads and that’s what got him the win tonight. He said there will be more questions coming tomorrow and Dynamite and All in.

On what he and Ospreay said after the match, Strickland said that he told him he loves him and he was something special.

Strickland was asked if he was still gunning for Bryan Danielson. He said Danielson is gunning for him and he wants the win back, saying the loss to Danielson is something that bothers him as they are both Pacific Northwest guys. Renee asked who else is on the list and Strickland said, “You know.”

On getting fans invested, Strickland said he really wants to get to the bone of what means something to people. He wants to get to what you are fighting for and what’s in your heart. He said that made th Hangman Page feud work. He wants to see what’s at the heart of Daniel Garcia. Seeing all these layers to MJF over the years, what is he fighting for now that he’s lost the title. How will Will Ospreay respond tonight. There are a lot of things to be revealed and a lot to be revealed about their character in the days to come.

Swerv praised the team that has helped him evolve into the “mogul” in wrestling, whether it be his media appearances, his fight training, the appearances of hip hop stars like Jim Brown tonight and more.

On whether the main event exceeded his expectations, he said it did because of the people. His expectations are low until the people bring it to something more than he thought it was. He said the people made it. He said it was a long card and you hope there’s energy left for you and it could go either way. He said that criticism doesn’t matter because the people who were there were into it and it makes you at home wish you were there and want to see what happens with Swerve and what will happen next with Will. He said it’s gratifying to have a Black World Champion in the main event of this and to see this style and stiff level of competition at this level. He’s proud and fortunate and ready to keep working.

It was down to Renee and Tony Khan. He said he’s probably had 10 cups of coffee.

Khan said they had over 11,000 paid fans and over a $1 million live gate tonight.

Khan was asked about the 1/5/25 Wrestle Dynasty event in Tokyo. He said it’ll be a big week in Japan for Wrestle Kingdom and Wrestle Dynasty. He said ROH and AEW will both be involved. They will start a new year in 2025 and they are going to work with New Japan and support them and all their international partners that week.

Kimmy Sokol asked about ROH taping in Arlington. Khan retained all the recent ROH developments and said he was excited about the Arlington tapings.

Renee Young plugged the Brodie Lee sneakers coming out tomorrow. Khan said Amanda Huber has some really nice words on the PPV pre-show and he’s excited to work with them to push the launch of the shoe. The greatest AEW TNT Champion will always be Brodie Lee and he’s excited to celebrate Jon Huber.

Khan said it’s a dream come true to go back to Wembley and try to do this back to back. It’s a really bold play and they are off to a great start on tickets. He felt it was a smart move going earlier with ticket sales this year.

Khan asked if there would be more collaboration for sneakers or Westside Gunn collabs for shirts. He said Gunn has been a big supporter of AEW and anytime he can participate, Khan loves it. He said he’s Team AEW and it’s been great stuff. They’ve had great collaborations with Reebok and he’d like to continue those as well. They are great partnerships and crossovers for AEW.

Khan was asked if Brody King was OK after the rough brainbuster from Tomohiro Ishii. King is OK but it was a scary move. He will be able to keep wrestling.

Khan was asked what he learned from the international partnerships. Khan praised the relationships and went over a lot of the crossovers.

Khan was asked about the idea of running Puerto Rico and whether a TV or a PPV would be best. It would be great to run PR and going there would be a new milestone for the promotion.

Khan was asked about the potential of a super heavyweight division. He said it’s something to think about, noting watching Samoa Joe and Jeff Cobb facing off has been a lot of fun. Anytime we can get the ‘big men” fighting, he loves it.

Khan said is excited about the Warner partnership and will be hitting the 250th episode of Dynamite soon.

Khan said the PPV#s, based on digital numbers, were fantastic. He doesn’t know cable or satellite numbers yet. He believes this will be their record year for PPV buys. Three years in a row, Forbidden Door did three years of great business.

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