AEW President & CEO Tony Khan recently spoke with Mike Johnson of PWInsider and was asked about the so-called Wednesday Night War between WWE NXT and AEW Dynamite coming to an end. Tonight’s “Takeover: Stand and Deliver” Night One edition of NXT will be the final episode to air on the USA Network as the show will begin airing on Tuesdays next week.
Khan was asked how the goals and expectations for Dynamite moving forward are changing, if at all, with the so-called war coming to an abrupt end. Khan talked about the creative for the next few weeks of Dynamite and said he thinks having boxing legend Mike Tyson on tonight’s show is a great way to get eyes on the product.
“That’s a great question. I have a stacked show planned for this week and I have another stacked show planned for next week when we’re unopposed by a wrestling competition,” Khan said. “We’ll have some stories this week that are going to be very interesting and are going to lead people, my hope is, wanting to come back and watch next week’s show. I believe there might be some wrestling fans who might have not watched the show before and are going to want to come check it out in the next couple of weeks.
“So I think having Mike Tyson on the show this week is a great way to bring some attention to the wrestlers and our big matches and big stories this week and we’re going to have a really, really strong card the next couple of weeks. We have a great roster and there’s no reason we shouldn’t have great cards every week. We’ve consistently been doing big matches every Wednesday and I think now’s a great time to pour some gasoline on the whole situation and create a blaze.”
This will be the 78th week of the so-called Wednesday Night War between NXT and AEW. Khan was asked what lessons he learned from going head-to-head with NXT, and if there’s anything he would’ve done differently looking back in terms of the way he paced the Dynamite shows, or perhaps just the strategies for Dynamite.
“I think it’s a great, great question but I think it would be a better question to ask me after this week,” Khan said. “We’re opposed one more week, tomorrow’s [tonight] a big deal and I think we get through tomorrow [tonight] and next time I’d love to answer this question because I’ve learned a lot from this competition. I’ll be honest, the low point for us was definitely December 2019, and you talk about us being opposed/unopposed – we were unopposed January 1st, we were opposed by a clip show. And the show we did on January 1st, 2020 was the show that really changed things for us.
“The pandemic changed the world, but before we all knew what the pandemic was, January 1st, 2020 – we changed our own destiny. We went out and did the best show we could possibly do that night and took advantage of no new competition – no new matches, just a clip show. Cody and Darby tore down the house and they had a story that kept going throughout 2020. Moxley and Trent had a great match on the show, that led to Jericho offering Moxley the car and a huge step in the story of Moxley being offered a spot in the Inner Circle, that of course led to Revolution and Jon winning the championship from Chris. We had a great 4 way women’s match, planting the seeds, I remember being backstage with Britt that day – Kenny had mentioned around the holidays that Britt should turn, and I felt the same way – I talked to Britt that day and she went out that night knowing that’s where she was going and had a great 4 way match and they pulled a great number too. The main event was Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks on the same team and they were wrestling the Lucha Brothers and PAC before they became known as the death triangle. That match was really important also, that match did a great number and that show did a great number.”
Khan continued, “We changed our own destiny that night and never looked back. We’ve changed a lot – I feel like we’ve come out stronger for it and we’ve done very well for ourselves the week’s we’ve gone head to head, but I’ve also learned a lot from the weeks we’ve been effectively unopposed, such as the one I just mentioned, or say the week after All Out where Brodie Lee and Dustin Rhodes tore the house down in the TNT Title match and did a great audience for that show in September of 2020.”
Stay tuned for more and be sure to join us tonight at 8pm ET for live Dynamite coverage. You can click here for our Dynamite preview for tonight.