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Tony Khan talks Jeff Hardy, Bryan Danielson, Forbidden Door 2 & more on media call

Denise Salcedo’s YouTube

AEW head honcho Tony Khan held a media call today (June 24) in advance of Sunday’s Forbidden Door PPV in Chicago with New Japan Pro-Wrestling.

The only semi-adversarial portion of the session came when Khan was asked about Jeff Hardy, who he suspended last week after Hardy’s latest DUI arrest.

Khan confirmed that the younger Hardy brother is in treatment — one of the conditions for him to eventually return to AEW. He’s couldn’t say much more, but added he’s remained in contact with Jeff’s brother Matt, and the company will continue to support Jeff through the treatment process.

Asked about AEW’s Wellness Policy, Khan said they have one but didn’t into specifics of the policy. Leave is available to everyone in the company, and the preference is obviously for people to bring their problems to AEW’s attention before incidents arise. There is a testing component, and the expectation is that talents show up each week ready to be tested. TK also pushed back on comparisons between Jeff’s situation and Jon Moxley’s, saying Mox came to them and never placed anyone else in danger.

Other items discussed on the approximately one hour long call:

  • TK offered an in-depth answer when asked to changes made to the Forbidden Door card, many of them due to injuries. He said they were very fortunate to have Moxley back in the fold before the build started.
  • CM Punk & FTR would have been together at Forbidden Door had Punk not gotten hurt.
  • He knew they Jay White wouldn’t be available to them until a few weeks before the PPV, and that Kazuchika Okada couldn’t appear until this week. He wishes the four men in the IWGP World title match had more time to interact, but he did the best he could.
  • Again said the logistics of booking Forbidden Door were a big challenge. Praised Gedo and Rocky Romero (who served as their intermediary) for working with him.
  • One match that didn’t change? Orange Cassidy vs. Will Ospreay was always the plan.
  • Regarding reports of political problems with AAA & CMLL, Khan said he likes and is willing to work with everyone involved, even if they won’t work with each other.
  • He doesn’t see running Forbidden Door so close to Double or Nothing as a way to test an expanded AEW PPV schedule. It was just the date that worked for both companies.
  • Khan touted the financial success of Forbidden Door several times, and says there have already been discussions about doing it again next year. He mused about WWE holding two night events while answering this question.
  • Bryan Danielson wanted to work Forbidden Door and Blood & Guts, but TK shut him down. He didn’t want to risk Danielson’s health and the possibility of him missing more time. Khan also put over his replacement and thinks his debut will be a special moment.
  • Regarding getting wrestlers on television, Khan mentioned WWE having so much talent they needed to do the brand split. He admitted it’s a challenge to get airtime for everyone he has signed, but said the depth has helped them deal with injuries.
  • More matches will be announced for The Buy-In on tonight’s Rampage.
  • Khan is open to New Japan wrestlers holding AEW titles and AEW wrestlers holding IWGP belts.
  • Okada has made a point of telling Fulham FC’s co-owner he’s a Manchester City supporter “17 times”.