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Tony Khan addresses rumors of ‘unhappiness’ in the AEW locker room

There were inklings of it before, but ever since Triple H assumed control of WWE Talent Relations & Creative following Vince McMahon’s resignation, we’ve heard a lot more about possible morale issues among the AEW roster.

Some if it just general rumors. Some is specific wrestlers liking or responding to fans who are critical of Tony Khan’s booking. The AEW head honcho took some steps last week to address communication issues behind the scenes, but there’s still a perception that WWE is now the place where talent could have a better chance to succeed.

Josh Martinez gave Khan a “platform” on his Superstar Crossover podcast to address talk of “unhappiness” in his locker room:

“Well, we have a great crew, and we’re very happy with the shows we’ve been doing. I think we’ve got a great team of people. I recently did some promotions and added to the team, and I think with the new group, hopefully the communication’s only gonna get better. Because I can only be in so many places at one time, talk to so many people with such a big team. So I think that’ll help.

“In general, I think we have a really great environment and a really great backstage. Overall, it’s been a great summer for us, and it’s only going to get better. A lot of the biggest stars in AEW have actually been out, so it’s been great for us to maintain this position. Last week, on Wednesday night, AEW Dynamite — number one show on all of cable. That’s been the case six out of the last seven weeks. That kind of consistency has been thanks to our wrestlers, our staff, and most importantly the wrestling fans that have kept us going. Friday Night Rampage, we did our best number in a long time, being top five on Fridays on cable.

“There’s a lot of really good camaraderie and momentum. I can’t get everybody on the show. It is challenging, in some ways, when you have three hours of television. I get that, if you’re looking at a competitor that has seven hours of television, that really, the people in that company are twice as likely to be on TV, if you look at it that way. So I think it’s very competitive for spots, but it also means people have to do the most to maximize the time they do get, wherever it is, whether it’s on TV or streaming.

“And I do think our TV show, with the participation we’ve had from fans and why we all feel so good this year too is, it’s great to be back on the road this last year after doing the shows in lockdown in a sometimes empty stadium. Overall, I think the vibe is really really positive, and we’re all really excited. It’s a big time of year for AEW with All Out coming up, one of the biggest events on our calendar, and the we approach one of our biggest TV event of the year, coming up to New York for AEW Grand Slam next month.”

In between TK’s usual promotional blasts, there’s more of an answer here than other recent attempts at fielding questions about AEW vs. WWE in the post-Vince world. He seems to be counting on the recent management changes to improve communication, but otherwise puts the onus on wrestlers to maximize the minutes he gives them.

Hopefully he’s right about the first part, and the locker room is motivated by the second. Because once the big names AEW’s been without recently such as Kenny Omega & CM Punk come back, there’s going to be even less time to go around.

Your turn to weigh in, Cagesiders.

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