The long nights at AEW PPVs don’t end with the final bell. There’s still the post-show media scrum!
Most of the news from Revolution’s came from... who else? AEW owner, president & booker Tony Khan. Who is also now owner of, and seems on his way to being president & booker of, Ring of Honor. But more on that in a sec.
First, TK spoke about one of the two former WWE folks who debuted last night (Mar. 6) in Orlando, former WWE Director of Talent Development & Head of Global Recruiting and on-screen NXT General Manager William Regal.
Regal looks like he will have an immediate storyline role with Bryan Danielson & Jon Moxley. His new boss didn’t give anything away in that regard, but teased it a bit while discussing the history those three men share:
“People who follow his career closely know that he has a very long-established connection with Bryan Danielson and was instrumental in shaping the pro wrestler that Danielson has become and he is one of the greatest pro wrestlers today and all time. Regal had a big contribution to that...
“I think he can contribute on-screen in a major way to Danielson, and he has a history with Jon Moxley. Some of the last matches we saw Regal wrestle were against Moxley, they had a great rivalry. He’s very familiar with both men and they have a lot of respect for him. We saw that after the violence, and the way they bled together. They built a lot of mutual respect with each other. That’s very exciting.”
The 53 year old from Blackpool, England figures to be more than just a performer for AEW. Khan didn’t provide any specifics there either, but more or less confirmed that will be the case. He also said he was surprised WWE let Regal go back in January, but indicated their deal hasn’t been in the works for that long:
“It was very surprising to see he had been released and would be available. I have tons of respect for his mind and I think he’s going to be a very valuable person in AEW...
“... behind the scenes, I think Lord Regal can teach all of us, everyone here, a lot. It’s great to have him here, on-screen and off-screen. It came together very recently and he fits very well with what we’re doing.”
One role fans immediately began speculating about was the possibility of Regal leading the other wrestling brand Khan is purchasing, Ring of Honor (when they’re not speculating that Cody Rhodes will return as part of ROH, but I digress). Much of what TK said about the iconic indie promotion was in the vein of the closing line of the press release announcing the deal: “Further details about the extent of this acquisition will be announced in the coming weeks.”
It’s still too early for Khan to answer questions about things like distribution of new or historical Ring of Honor content — including if they could have a home on TBS, TNT, or WarnerMedia’s streaming service HBOMax, and the status of the existing Honor Club service & Baltimore as ROH’s home base.
But he did say he expects to continue producing shows under the ROH banner, and it sounds like those shows will serve as part of AEW’s developmental system. TK threw some questions back to the scrum participants about how NXT has been a part of WWE’s developmental system, which seemed to be his way of saying his Ring of Honor would produce shows closer to what we got during NXT’s black-and-gold era, but more aligned with the “main roster” like the 2.0 product:
“I’m not going to say what I’m going to do with it in terms of the roster going forward, but there is a lot of opportunities, a lot of great wrestlers out there, young wrestlers, and a lot of great wrestlers under contract here and not under contract here...
“I’m gonna be the booker. And there’s a reason for that. Because I will be bringing in young wrestlers, and they have a lot of young wrestlers, and I think we’re very successful here and we’re doing very well here... For continuity sake, when you bring people in, other wrestling companies that have had multiple promotions under one corporate structure or one person, I don’t think it’s conducive to have people coming into an environment — say somebody would come here from there and the whole thing that’s been going on with them, I might not be behind it.”
But that’s not to say he would be the only person behind ROH 2.0. TK mentioned some others would could be integral to his version of the brand, including Regal:
“We have a lot of great people in AEW and a lot of great minds. You saw Lord Regal is here, Ace Steel has been helping out, and has been a great coach. Sonjay Dutt has been helping. The coaching roster has gotten stronger and I’m never afraid to utilize active wrestlers like Bryan Danielson. I will be [the booker], but I will continue to work with people, soliciting ideas, keeping things organized and building two great rosters of wrestlers.“
Most of what we’ve heard from Tony about ROH under his ownership can be summed up by this quote:
“There should be a Ring of Honor, and I think I’ve got the resources to present a better version than anybody else can.”
Excited for Regal in AEW, and TK’s Ring of Honor?