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Tony Khan on Bret Hart, Rampage time changes, trios titles, more

News 12’s YouTube

With AEW in the greater New York market for Dynamite & Rampage, and with Double or Nothing only weeks away, owner/promoter/booker Tony Khan was busy doing press today (May 11).

He covered a lot of topics with a lot of outlets, so we decided to hit this roundup style...

• TK told News 12 Long Island he wants to bring another Grand Slam show to NYC this year:

“Yes, I expect we’ll be back to have Grand Slam, AEW Grand Slam — Dynamite and Rampage, back in Queens at Arthur Ashe Stadium again. It was a huge success to everyone involved and it’s all thanks to this great partnership with the USTA. They were so kind and I think it resulted in a big partnership.

“[Grand Slam] was almost the first million dollar gate in AEW history, just came shy of that, but it was real close and of course we set that record now, for AEW Double or Nothing [2022] Las Vegas, became our first million dollar gate for live tickets, and now just hit it again for our partnership with New Japan, for our Forbidden Door show at the United Center.

“So, we will be back, and it will be hopefully another huge success going back to Queens for AEW Grand Slam — Dynamite and Rampage, later this year, in 2022 again.”

• When News 12 asked about criticism of wrestlers bleeding in television matches (aka “gory self-mutilation”), Khan said he uses it sparingly, and that they haven’t had complaints:

“It’s certainly not every week, you don’t see it on a weekly basis... For the most part, you see a focus on the in-ring action, but every once and awhile, when things have gotten out of hand, it’s been old school pro wrestling in a way that has been very healthy and has been well-received by our media partners and fans. It’s almost been universally praised and when it hasn’t, overall, we’ve done well on the aggregate and most of the focus is on wrestling and not the brawling, but you see some of the old-school brawling too and that’s part of pro wrestling and that’s what makes it fun.”

• In an interview with TSN, Khan confirmed the report from last week about AEW Trios belts, and teased there could be more titles coming:

“I saw Dave [Meltzer] reported it and nobody’s asked me on the record yet, but it is truthful that I have made the belts. I made them a long time ago, to be honest with you. They’ve never been seen, and I did have them made. I do have more championship belts in my possession that have never been unveiled than anybody might suspect... But there are more championship belts than people might think that I’ve had up my sleeve and the trios championship are, arguably, the foremost.”

• Not coming? Bret Hart:

“Not right now. I think Bret himself said that. First of all, we have a great respect for Bret Hart as a company and as individuals. A lot of the wrestlers here and myself respect Bret Hart as a great person and a great wrestler. He would always be somebody we would treasure whenever he’s around. He was involved in the first Double or Nothing [2019] He said he’s happy at home right now. It’s a great thing he’s got going and we’ve just got so much respect for Bret Hart.”

• Staying on the bad news front, he told Busted Open that Rampage will air at 5:30pm ET again this week due to TNT’s coverage of the NHL Playoffs, and added that the May 20 episode will air at 7pm ET due to the network’s NBA schedule. Rescheduling of AEW’s b-show has led to the worst ratings in its brief history.

• And give the man a No-Prize for the explanation he gave Barstool Rasslin’ as to why he hasn’t bought out Wardlow’s contract from Maxwell Jacob Friedman:

“MJF’s family has a lot of money. To be fair, I am making smart business decisions for the company. Wardlow is still performing for the company right now and it’s on MJF’s dime. We’ve worked with a lot of people through the Forbidden Door so this is no different.”

Busy day for our guy Tony, and he still has two shows to produce tonight! Let us know what you think of these tidbits, and share any we missed on Khan’s media blitz, in the comments below.