Tony Khan On AEW Dark’s Expansion, Why The Pandemic Made It ‘More Of A Developmental System’ Than Before

Tony Khan

Photo Credit: Bill Pritchard

AEW President Tony Khan recently spoke with the PWTorch and reflected on All Elite Wrestling‘s first year, AEW Dark’s success as a developmental program, and more. During the conversation, Khan spoke about AEW Dark’s success as a developmental program, noting that it had a very different look prior to the pandemic and explained how it’s helping people find work and develop talent for the future.

“The pandemic changed Dark a lot. Dark was always supposed to be something of a developmental show for us, but it was also a much shorter show, and we taped it in front of a live crowd. And we would do a Dark before Dynamite started, and then we would tape two or three Dark matches after Dynamite, and it changed a lot.”

“I wanted to give [independent wrestlers] work, and I was thinking, in the beginning of the pandemic, you have all these independent wrestlers, especially around Florida and Georgia that aren’t really working, and they would kill to have this opportunity to wrestle on Dark, and we could do a bigger version of Dark. It could be more of a developmental system for us than it used to be.”

“We’ve developed a lot of talent through the show. Will Hobbs has become an important part of the show and an important person on Dynamite and he is probably the best developmental success story I have through the pandemic. Our women’s roster’s got a lot of young women who have not wrestled on TV a lot before Dynamite, and now I think Dark is a great place for them to get experience and get ready for TV matches, so we’ve got a great show there.”

If you use any portion of this transcript, please credit Colin Tessier of and link back. 

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