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AEW’s Tony Khan Talks All Out PPV, Punk vs. Moxley, Guevara/Kingston Incident & more

— AEW President Tony Khan spoke to the media ahead of this weekend’s All Out PPV, answering questions about the show as well as his company. Here’s a recap by Jason Powell, prowrestling.net:

-Khan was asked about why he waited to announce so many matches close to the pay-per-view. Khan said a lot of it had to do with wrestlers coming back from injury close to the event. He mentioned CM Punk and Bryan Danielson as examples.

-Khan was asked about the AEW Rampage numbers. Khan said that the injuries to top stars forced him to put the bigger stars they had access to on Dynamite. Khan said he’s excited because he wants to reset. He said he was trying to make the best of a situation over the summer months. Khan said he hopes that Friday’s Rampage is a preview of things to come now that the majority of the top stars are healthy. Khan also said they showed at the Grand Slam event that they could easily handle four hours of television per week.

-A caller said last year’s All Out was one of the best shows in AEW history and she believes this year’s lineup measures up to last year’s event. She asked about the two women’s matches on the card and putting them together. Khan spoke positively about working with Athena, who is challenging Jade Cargill for the TBS Title. He also spoke about Thunder Rosa being injured and said it didn’t take him long to come up with Hikaru Shida, Toni Storm, Britt Baker, and Jamie Hayter as the wrestlers who should meet for the title on Sunday.

-Khan was asked about having Jon Moxley and CM Punk have a match on television to lead into their pay-per-view match. Khan said he thinks the approach they took was beneficial. He said they shouldn’t do it this way every time, but it’s the company’s 15th pay-per-view and they’ve never done something like this. He said there’s a lot of speculation about what the future holds for both men and the championship. He said the television match was a great ratings draw for them. Khan said he felt they built more interest in the pay-per-view while also delivering their best rating since February. Khan also said he feels that the promos delivered by both men on Dynamite “reeled” fans back in. Khan sad he feels good about where they are at with things.

-The next caller praised the diversity and representation on All Out. Khan spoke about trying to build the best roster. He said he couldn’t have dreamed that so many free agents would be available and he also praised the homegrown stars. Khan mentioned Dante Martin, Ricky Starks, Powerhouse Hobbs, Max Cater, and Anthony Bowens being examples of homegrown talent and their roles at All Out. He also spoke about Keith Lee and Swerve Strickland defending the tag titles. He touted the representation on the show and said it’s among the best of any pro wrestling pay-per-view event.

-Khan was asked if he had a Plan B in place for injuries. Khan compared it to roster depth with sports teams. He said he believes the approach they took with Moxley and Punk generated more interest. He also spoke about having to rework the Forbidden Door pay-per-view due to various injuries.

-The next caller praised the All Out lineup and mentioned the Motor City Machine Guns and Tomohiro Ishii working the show. The caller asked if it’s more or less likely to have a Forbidden Door style relationship with WWE following their management changes. Khan said he was more optimistic when the changes occurred, but he’s less optimistic now due to the way they’ve treated him. Khan said “thank you” and moved on.

-Khan gave a brief answer regarding ROH World Champion Claudio Castagnoli or ROH Pure Rules Champion Wheeler Yuta being in position to challenge for the AEW World Championship if they win the Casino Ladder Match.

-Khan was asked about freshening up the women’s division due to Thunder Rosa’s injury. Khan said he is excited about the opportunity as well as the eventual unification once she returns.

-The next caller brought up criticism regarding Thunder Rosa not getting much time to address her injury compared to the time that CM Punk was given. Khan said he strongly disagreed with it. He said an eight-minute CM Punk promo is going to do a better rating than a Thunder Rosa promo. He praised Rosa’s matches and said it wouldn’t have been best for the show to give her eight minutes. He also said he found out hours before the show went live that Rosa was injured. Khan said a lot of people were critical of how Jon Moxley got his match with Hiroshi Tanahashi and you can’t please everyone. This led to Khan raving about the Moxley vs. Kyle O’Reilly match. Khan emphasized again that you can’t please everyone and feels that the reaction has been positive to the four-way.

-Khan was asked about the Zero Hour pre-show name. He said it’s a cool piece of IP that they acquired as part of the ROH sale. He noted that it was used for ROH and the All In pay-per-view. He said he might keep The Buy-In name for Double Or Nothing. He said he doesn’t see the Zero Hour as a pre-show as much as that it is it’s own event. He touted the three matches that are advertised, then said he might announce something else on Friday’s Rampage.

-Khan was asked if there’s a chance to see a resolution to the Eddie Kingston vs. Sammy Guevara match despite what’s happened behind the scenes. Khan said he’s not sure. He said they haven’t gotten along and sometimes that lends itself very well to a pro wrestling match. Khan said he’s for it, but it takes three to tango in this case.

-Khan was asked how he felt the mandatory talent meeting went last week. Khan said there was a meeting and they went over a lot of different things. He said it was a lot of house keeping. Khan said they used to hold similar meetings when they were running at at Daily’s Place and they hadn’t done it in some time. He said some of the things came out and were pretty accurate while other things were wildly inaccurate. Khan alluded to WWE reaching out to AEW contracted talent without specifically saying it, and indicated that it was something they felt the need to discuss at the meeting.

-A caller asked about ROH having a presence on the All Out show with no ROH events officially advertised. Khan indicated that his goal was to have the best card he could. He also mentioned that ROH Women’s Champion Mercedes Martinez is sidelined by an injury.

-The final topic was about Khan previously stating that he left some stories open, and how they now bridged the gap via Dynamite. The person wondered if there were other things to keep an eye out for. Khan teased adding more to All Out and/or the pre-show on Rampage. He also spoke about the All Out Countdown Show that will follow AEW Rampage on Friday. Khan said the countdown shows feature some of the best promos in wrestling. This concluded the media call.

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