Tony Khan Talks The Challenges They Faced At The AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door Event

AEW President and CEO Tony Khan appeared on Fightful’s Grapsody podcast to discuss topics such as how he wishes they could have done some of the stuff they weren’t able to do at the Forbidden Door Event, but the show ended up perfect and he wouldn’t change a thing about it.

Tony Khan said:

“The show was so awesome, I wouldn’t change a thing. It was so great, I do wish we would have been able to do some of the stuff we hadn’t done, but the show ended up perfect and what a great event for AEW. It’s the most successful debut of any AEW franchise in every conceivable way.”

Tony Khan also discussed the challenges of bringing in the top stars from NJPW, but they were all for it and how they even did great things for the company by increasing their ratings, so that just shows the kind of star power their top stars have and how they are needle movers.

Tony Khan said:

“All the changes going into Forbidden Door, it was challenging, but keeping cool and really making sure we had a great card and working with New Japan, I don’t think they’ve had the same experience in terms of producing American pay-per-views, and what you have to do in terms of getting people on the show. I made no secret that there was a point of, ‘We need to get the guys over here and get them on TV and start building the matches.’ It’s challenging because I can’t imagine how hard it would be for me to build a pay-per-view in another country while I’m trying to run my promotion here. For them, it was really hard, but they were great about it. When we got Tanahashi and Will Ospreay over, they did great things for us on the show and great numbers. That shows the kind of star power they have, and I think their top stars really are needle movers, and they’ve been great for us.”

Tony Khan then discussed how CM Punk’s unfortunate injury impacted a lot of other stars and their set storyline, but there is nothing he can do about that.

Tony Khan said:

“That was a challenge coming out of it, realizing CM Punk had broken his foot because we had plans for CM Punk and FTR as a trio and plans going into Forbidden Door, there was a lot of stuff there. A lot of the build around Tanahashi and build around FTR with United Empire and Aussie Open and the involvement of Will Ospreay and how that led to Orange Cassidy and Best Friends. The whole map was drawn out differently and it was really cool, it just didn’t happen the way I thought it could’ve if people hadn’t gotten hurt. There’s nothing you can do about that.”

You can check out Tony Khan’s full comments in the video below. H/T to for transcribing the above quotes.

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