There’s been a lot of focus on AEW’s television future in the wake of the WarnerMedia/Discovery merger. The new bosses from Discovery have historically been more budget conscious than the folks running things when Tony Khan secured his initial rights deal & its extension, and there’s already signs of belt-tightening in the new operation.
With little in the way of official news about what the company now known as Warner Bros. Discovery plans to do with the pro wrestling shows it inherited, industry observers and fans have been left to interpret things like AEW’s minimal presence at last week’s upfronts.
Now, we can over-analyze this TK quote from the Sports Media with Richard Deitsch podcast. It seems to indicate that Dynamite at The Forum in Los Angeles next week (June 1) could be key to the future of the relationship.
“I’m very excited because we’re at The Forum next week and I’m really just honored, and it’s a great privilege for us because a lot of the top executives from Warner Bros. Discovery are going to be at The Forum.
“It means a lot to me personally to be in The Forum to begin with but I can’t tell you what it means that a lot of the top executives from Warner Bros. Discovery are not only coming to the show but they’re throwing a great event for us afterwards in The Forum. Just to have their presence to begin with means so much that they would come to the show but also a lot of the top executives in the Warner Bros. Discovery family are going to have an event with us, with a lot of the people in AEW, and we’re going to hang out. That means the world to us and getting to know each other better.”
Khan does stress that the partnership doesn’t need saving or anything, however. He says the new management has remained supportive of AEW, but the LA show is a chance for them to see the product in person and deepen their ties:
“They’ve been so supportive and great coming in and it means so much to us to be working with the largest producer of content now, after this great merger Warner Bros. Discovery, the biggest in the world, and running such an efficient ship. Now to be a part of it, putting up numbers and working hard and showing up every week.
“To have the event at The Forum on June 1 and to have top executives from Warner Bros. Discovery not only coming to the event but throwing a party for us. This mixer, this event, it’s just really cool and it’s an honor to be a part of this family that’s grown and changed after the merger.”
In addition to the executive presence, next week’s Dynamite is also AEW’s first show on the west coast, and the fallout episode from this weekend’s Double or Nothing PPV. Should be an eventful night with a hot crowd... exactly what you’d want to put in front of some possibly wrestling-hesitant decision makers.
Check out TK’s entire conversation with Deitsch here.