Tony Khan has had more of a hands-on approach with AEW in 2020 and he explained how losing to NXT in the “Wednesday Night War” led him to get more involved in the creative process.
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’s ability to win the weekly ratings battle against NXT, as well as how a “rare loss” to WWE’s third brand caused him to get even more involved than he was at first.
“The process kind of changed for me after December….we’ve only had one show where we didn’t win the demo head-to-head for the night. I really had to do a lot of reflection on what had put us in that position and what I could do to change things and what we could do to change the process. And I became more motivated, that’s the wrong word. I shouldn’t say motivated. I became more productive in terms of trying to come up with my own ideas and then also in terms of managing other people’s ideas or just organizing the show or you know, taking outside ideas and trying to package them together.”
“I just tried to become more proactive and also say no to more stuff. That was a big thing, just not rolling over on stuff I don’t believe in, and I’ve tried not to do it as much this year, and I think the show is better for it. And that’s probably been the biggest change in 2020.”
Khan also spoke about getting ideas from Being The Elite, noting one thing that was a big success was Hangman Page’s development. He says he saw the “drunk” character on BTE and pushed it to TV, and it’s allowed Page to develop into a character with much more depth.
“I was like, ‘What can we do different, what can we do to make the show a bit more vibrant?’ Well I saw Hangman [Adam Page] on Being The Elite doing his drunk character, and he’d never done that on Dynamite. And I was like, ‘Okay, that’s Hangman from now on. That’s the new Hangman.’ Now we’re almost a year into it and it’s completely changed him, he connects with people in a completely different way, he’s more three-dimensional wrestler.”
If you use any portion of this transcript, please credit Colin Tessier of WrestleZone.com and link back.