AEW President Tony Khan did an interview with Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated to discuss a wide range of topics. Here are some of the highlights:
Signing Kyle O’Reilly:
“Kyle O’Reilly is a huge addition for AEW. He’s a great, great wrestler. And not only did we get Kyle O’Reilly, we also got Bobby Fish and Adam Cole. These are huge signings individually, but even more massive together. Adam Cole’s debut at the end of All Out, that’s one of the most important moments ever in AEW, and now he’s surrounded by his former partners. To have Kyle O’Reilly debut and help Adam Cole get the win over Orange Cassidy in a great wrestling match last week on Dynamite, that builds more interest in AEW.
Kyle makes his debut in the ring this week, and it’s symbolic that it is happening on the final Dynamite on TNT. So much of our run on TNT was spent battling these guys—Adam Cole, Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly. When we were head to head, it was threatening to us every time they were on camera. Now we’ve added them to our team in AEW, which is such an advantage. Having them here is tremendous. I wanted Kyle to sign with AEW as soon as he was a free agent. This week on Dynamite will be special. We’ll see Adam Cole make his first appearance at Daily’s Place, and so will CM Punk. Sting will be there. And at the forefront of it all will be Cole and Bobby Fish teaming with Kyle O’Reilly, making his in-ring debut.”
Whether there can ever be too much talent on the AEW roster:
“We’ve been expanding our programming over the past year, and I’d like to always keep AEW at the forefront of the fans’ minds as the home of professional wrestling. It’s the place where you will see the best pro wrestlers, so the roster is constantly evolving. There is a ton of great talent in the world of wrestling right now, and I’m always looking for ways to make the show more exciting. I always want to upgrade the roster. That’s what we did with Kyle O’Reilly, CM Punk, Adam Cole, Ruby Soho and Bryan Danielson. We also have Thunder Rosa under a full AEW contract. Christian Cage came in as a free agent and wrestled at as high a level as he ever has. Malakai Black, Andrade El Idolo, we keep adding to our roster, expanding our programming and growing.”
His favorite memory of Brodie Lee:
“I have a lot of memories of Brodie Lee that I really cherish. At the beginning of the pandemic, the very first pandemic show was his debut in AEW. That was the first time Brodie appeared. He had no fans ringside when he had his first match at Daily’s Place, so it was a strange time. He became such a leader for us, and we really got to know each other when there weren’t many other people around. I ended up reaching out to Jon Moxley and saying it should be him and Brodie for the title at Double or Nothing. Mox loved the idea. We didn’t have a ton of time, only a few weeks, but we built to Mox and Brodie. We had a three-way call to talk ideas, and that was really a lot of fun. Then we made him TNT champion over the summer, and it was a great run. But I’ll really always remember that period during the pandemic when we really got to know each other.”