AEW President Tony Khan recently sat down with PW Insider to discuss a number of different topics, including his thoughts on the upcoming exploding barbed wire deathmatch at Revolution between Kenny Omega and Jon Moxley for the AEW world title. Highlights from the interview can be found below.
Says the exploding barbed wire world title match will happen live and how it came about:
“It’s going to be live. It came up a long time ago, almost a year ago. I had it in the back of my mind as something we can do. It’s a great idea and the timing is right now, it’s a great main event for Revolution and it’s something we can do here. It’s something I think we can do and will be great for the match and look, it’s an exploding barbed-wire death match, I think people can expect this to be a savage match and that’s what they’re going to get. It’s going to be one of the craziest matches ever on pay per view. Jon and Kenny tore the house down and I paid a pretty big fine in Baltimore. I think this will be crazier and better and I can’t wait for Revolution. Revolution last year was my favorite wrestling show and set a huge standard to live up to and it’s going to be a tremendous show, I’m really excited about it.”
Disagrees with those who say AEW doesn’t have a sport-centered mindset:
“I completely, completely disagree with anyone who thinks this isn’t in line with that philosophy cause it’s about the sport of wrestling and the art of professional wrestling. This is an accepted form of art, an accepted form of wrestling. The exploding barbed-wire death match is a real wrestling match, it’s going to be awesome. I get excited about anything that takes the sport and its competitors seriously. This match should not be taken lightly, it’s not a joke. We may occasionally do some fun stuff but this is serious and it’s going to be awesome. When I say sports-based product, this is part of the sport, it is wrestling at its crux. It is competition and it’s not going to be something silly like guys hitting each other in the face with pies. So I think it’s great and it’s completely in line with my original vision for the focus being on the wrestling product. This is a wrestling match – it’s not your typical wrestling match and it’s not going to be the most scientific contest but you’re going to see all kinds of great wrestling at Revolution and this is one of the things you’ll see. It’s not something you’ll see every night.”
On his on-screen personal for IMPACT:
“At no point did I ever say I would not be on TV or I would not do a character. I just said on Dynamite I was not going to do that, and I have not done that. I am a device on AEW, as the matchmaker, the booker, whatever you want to call it. You need somebody in that position and I am in that position. You don’t need to see that person a lot, you don’t need to see the general manager or the booker making the matches. I’ve never wanted to be on screen, I think it’s very detrimental at times to the show, so I’ve never done that on Dynamite. Now on another show, I think it does serve a purpose and in furthering the story between AEW and Impact it definitely serves a purpose, and like you said I enjoy doing them with Tony. It’s fun and I enjoy any time I get to spend with Tony, I’m really close with Tony. I really enjoy his work and it’s been such a pleasure working with him. We have fun doing the ads. The one that you’re going to see me do tonight is going to be a lot of fun, I’m looking forward to it, it’ll be different from anything I’ve done with Tony in these things.
Says he’s been enjoying the collaboration with IMPACT:
“I’m going to have a lot of surprises this week to be honest with you, Mike. It’s a busy time but for me, I enjoy doing these and I also like the working relationship. I think Impact is good people, it’s run by good people, they have some good talent and it’s been mutually beneficial. It’s been nice having the Good Brothers in, they’ve been helpful to us and vice versa, whether it was Kenny Omega or Matt Hardy and Private Party, I think it’s been good for Impact too having some of our stars on their shows, When I grew up there were working relationships in wrestling that were similar to this. The paid ads that I’m doing are a little different than the stuff I grew up watching but it’s no secret that almost 30 years ago that Vince was doing a character in Memphis that was not completely dissimilar from what he ended up doing years later and it served a real purpose in the story with what they were doing in Memphis, and it served a purpose later, it was some of the most compelling television of all-time, but he found that in what he was doing in Memphis, he struck gold. I’m not trying to do that [laughs], it’s just something we do kind of for fun and to further the story.”