Tony Khan

Tony Khan Talks About Responding To WWE Adding Commercial-Free Time To SmackDown Directly Against Rampage

Tony Khan isn’t afraid of a showdown of any kind.

The AEW President recently spoke with the New York Post for an interview, during which he spoke about feeling the need to respond to WWE putting on an extra 30 minutes on SmackDown on Friday night to go head-to-head with AEW Rampage on Twitter and ratings challenge.

Featured below is an excerpt from the interview from where he touches on this topic.

From the beginning of the launch of AEW, before we even had TV, a lot of the strategy was rallying the fans on the internet, rallying the fans online around the company and our wrestlers, and people really liked AEW, the people who watch the shows, they like the wrestlers. We have a very positive sentiment and in the position that we’re in, like I said, actions speak louder than words and I’ve always wanted everyone to watch all the wrestling they want. So if somebody’s going to put a show head to head with us I want people to know, very much in the spirit of wrestling competition. (With) the “Monday Night Wars” there was a lot of pride in the companies and people wore that on their sleeve. In this case, there are a lot of AEW fans and a lot of them are online. That’s how we were built, through a digital fan base.

We can build a big audience for this weekend. We’ve never had anything like this before with three hours of live wrestling on TNT on a weekend other than a pay-per-view. There are a ton of things happening at this time of year, there’s a lot of sports. There’s a lot of competition outside of wrestling. So if we’re going to start trying to directly head-to-head compete with each other at this time of year where there are all these other things happening in sports, let’s go. I’m not the one who threw the gloves off, but if somebody has to do the talking and sell the fight I will be the one to do it. In this case, I am doing all the talking and all the selling of the fight. I do think we need to go back to an era where there is all this excitement about the shows. It’s clearly built buzz because a lot of people are talking about it.

We got a great opportunity to draw people on the weekend in a new position for us. Rampage has launched very recently and we’ve had this great run of Wednesdays where we’ve had six straight weeks as the No. 1 show on all of cable television on Wednesday. And now Dynamite is being moved to a relatively unfamiliar Saturday night time slot. Three hours of weekend wrestling is very different. I put together the Buy In as a response, but that took some time. I wasn’t able to do that right away. So I wanted to let people know the gloves are off.

Check out the complete interview at NYPost.com.

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