Tony Khan was recently interviewed by Wade Keller of Pro Wrestling Torch, where he discussed how the EVPs of AEW's roles have changed as of late.
“They’re still very involved in a lot of aspects of the business. A lot of those things have been enhanced. The amount of development of huge resources that we’ve allocated towards building a great console video game, Kenny Omega has led a team and has really spearheaded this project with our staff. And he’s been such a great leader. And so Kenny Omega has helped really lead the company in a few different ways in the past couple years. And working with the Young Bucks, Cody, they’re great leaders backstage with the wrestlers, I had been pretty open. It’s not, it’s not because of anybody except my own feel that I’ve probably gotten a little bit more hands on with the stuff I do, than when we started. But that makes perfect sense because I had never worked in a wrestling company, I’d only come in from the outside. So I was organizing a lot of things at the beginning. And I was like the head of a committee. And I think there are a lot of drawbacks of trying to book a wrestling show with a committee. And even if you’re at the forefront of it, it’s still a mind-bogglingly difficult process. And I kind of around the start of 2020, the end of 2019 moved more to me writing the show. And I think it helped and it’s the show’s been better for it not because everybody doesn’t have good ideas, because they’re still contributing all their ideas. And that part hasn’t changed. It’s the idea of everybody getting in a room together and trying to spitball ideas and then like three people get really into one idea. And then they get like 10 steps down on the road on it. And the other two people like wait, like, what is this? Oh, yeah, it’s just like – and that’s just an example.
But in general, I found it to be much easier and more productive if I just tried to organize a show at home, like between shows, and have a good idea arriving for a TV what I want to do the next week, which is why generally until we get pretty close to the pay per view, we’re always announcing matches a week ahead. And then as we get closer, you know, to the pay per views, we’re building the pay per views, and I’m only announcing maybe a few things as opposed to the entire card for the next week…There’s they’re all still very involved in stories. And I talked to all four of them a ton about not just their programs, but what I’m doing with other people. Yeah, but I’ve just tried to be organized in a different way where I talk to talk to them all, and have a lot of compartmentalized conversations. I’ve compartmentalized a lot more things. And it’s helped me it’s helped me be better organized, I think, and especially to get through the pandemic, when there were no in person meetings, it ended up working out even better, because I had already kind of been going in that direction. And I remember talking to you in like the peak of the pandemic just to catch up, because really, I mean, it was just fun talk to people on the phone, because everybody was in quarantine, you know, nationwide. And I remember when we had shot all of the shows in QT’s gym that like I said, we were, you know, had all these great plans. And we were really on fire after Revolution. We have just crowned a new champion, Jon Moxley and the business had never been hotter. And we just come off this great pay per view Revolution. And we had this big tour planned, it all got canceled. And I’m there in Atlanta with 29% of my contracted wrestlers, in an era where the roster was so much thinner than it is now. Now, if I had 29% of the roster, I could still do a really great show, and really weeks of great shows, this was very different. And so I remember talking to you then, and the world was in a very different place than you know, a year and a half ago, and not just AEW [but] the entire world. And it’s really amazing to think about where the world is, and, you know, being able to go out and go to a wrestling show and go out to a movie again, but also where AEW is and being back on the road, back on tour with the fans. You know, from where I was talking to a year and a half ago. Wade, it’s pretty amazing how far things have come.”
Khan also spoke about the EVPs input on the booking of the show.
“I think they all have great points. And I think I’ve come to share a lot of common ground with all four of them about different ideas. I probably talked 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. And I really like all four guys. I have different relationships with all four guys. Um, although, you know, similar relationships with Matt and Nick. But even those are different relationships, so I don’t know…I think it’s all of them. And that’s what that’s what makes it work because there’s things — I have like a counterpoint in the soul of all four of them. I don’t agree with everything on all of them. And that is, I think 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.
We have lots of different creative influences in this one company. I like a lot of this stuff they like [and] there’s a lot of common ground, but they have a lot of different philosophies, but the overarching kind of philosophy at the end of the day is stuff I can get on board with. They all have good ideas like for themselves and for other people….I generally have like, three different chats going with the four people because I talk to Cody and Kenny and Matt and Nick, you know, every day, and they all have good ideas. And, and we all do see each other at the shows, and together, but like, especially with COVID, like the idea of everybody getting together for a meeting just isn’t as feasible as it used to be. And we just kind of got away from that. And, you know, everybody getting together in one room every week. And, you know, I think it is honestly, with technology and everybody being able to text ideas back and forth. And also having a week to kind of let things simmer and given me time to kind of organize the show over the weekend, it’s been a good process. The company’s grown in that time and I think we found a good work life balance.”