AEW President, CEO, General Manager & Head Of Creative Tony Khan recently suffered an injury during a taping of the Grand Slam edition of Rampage on TNT.
The Grand Slam edition of Rampage saw American Top Team’s Dan Lambert accompany Scorpio Sky and Ethan Page to the ring for their win over Chris Jericho and Jake Hager. After the match, American Top Team’s Junior dos Santos, Andre Arlovski, Jorge Masvidal, Dalton Rosta, Austin Vanderford, and Paige VanZant saved Lambert, Sky and Page from a beatdown. After the angle, Khan came out for the live crowd and yelled at the MMA fighters as they returned to the backstage area. This led to the 6-foot-4 238-pound dos Santos perform a takedown on the AEW boss.
Khan revealed to Joseph Staszewski of The New York Post that he suffered broken ribs in the takedown by dos Santos.
“He cracked them,” Khan said. “I’ll be OK. But he legitimately cracked them. I’ll be OK. It’s been a few weeks, but I’m sleeping on my right side.”
Khan noted that the interaction was not planned, and just kind of happened. He said he was also yelling at the MMA fighters that they needed to exit quickly because the taping was under time constraints due to a midnight curfew at Arthur Ashe Stadium.
“It felt just right in the moment,” Khan said. “It was just kind of improvised. He’s a very strong man. I love the gasp pop it got.”
Khan said he returned to his chair backstage to finish producing the taping, and no-sold the injury, telling no one about it because he didn’t want the AEW doctor pulling him out of his chair to get looked at. Khan made it clear that Junior did nothing wrong, calling the whole moment a great one.
“I was definitely asking for it,” Khan said.
Khan added that his interaction with dos Santos showed him firsthand how credible the ATT MMA fighters are.
“I’m fine. I’m a not wuss, but he did break my ribs,” Khan said. “So he’s going to be a handful in the ring for sure. I can tell you.”
This week’s Rampage on TNT will see dos Santos make his in-ring debut as he teams with Sky and Page to take on Jericho, Hager and AEW TNT Champion Sammy Guevara. Masvidal and Lambert will be in their corner. Khan says it’s a big deal for AEW to have big-name MMA stars on their shows, and he “absolutely” thinks there are opportunities for more American Top Team members to step into the ring.
“We built something very strong now with American Top Team and AEW,” Khan said. “We’ve gotten great crossover media opportunities because of dos Santos and Masvidal and Paige VanZant, Andrei Arlovski. It’s given good visibility and credibility to AEW and also Scorpio Sky and Ethan Paige.”
Stay tuned for more.