clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Tony Khan on when AEW/WWE rivalry got personal, why he deeply hates ‘WWE avatar accounts’

AEW owner, president & head of creative Tony Khan has put himself in the spotlight this week with what some say is an unprofessional or even unhinged online reaction to Dynamite fighting & losing a ratings war with WWE NXT on Tues., Oct. 10.

This morning (Oct. 13), after a week that’s included shots at Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Vince McMahontwice, John Cena & The Undertaker, Khan seemed to be attempting to provide some context for why:

This weekend marks 1 year since @MayoClinic saved my mom’s life.

During her ordeal many AEW talent came to me alleging WWE tampering, inducing them to break their contracts.

I’ll never forget these phone calls at her side in the hospital; it’s when business became personal for me

This is nothing new, I mentioned it last year after she came home. It’s relevant today because she checked in for surgery 1 year ago today.

As I’ve mentioned several times since, @MayoClinic are heroes and thanks to them, her recovery from a very grim outlook has been a miracle.

Khan shared about his mother’s health issues, which involved heart surgery to address strokes she’d been having, last December when they factored into his decision to not exercise AEW’s option on William Regal’s contract. That let Regal return to WWE, allowing him more opportunities to work with his own son. There were rumors & reports of other ex-WWE talents on the AEW roster being approached about or wanting to do the same around that time due to Triple H’s increased role while Vince was “retired”.

Within minutes of those posts, Khan added they’d received toxic replies from X accounts dedicated to supporting WWE (and/or possibly bots). The business rivalry with Triple H & company might be personal, but that’s nothing to how Tony feels about the tribal trolls on social media:

Not that I should be surprised, but the same WWE avatar accounts that spam me every day, no matter what I say or what it’s about, now turning their wrath to Mom recovering from a near death experience, is why I straight hate these people to the bottom of my heart with all my soul

Overall, a lot of us can probably find some empathy for TK in this situation. WWE wasn’t going to call a business time out because of what the Khans were going through, but it’s not hard to see why he’d be upset if he thought they were being underhanded. Combine that with being stressed out about his mom’s condition, and that’s how grudges grow. And dealing with a-holes online always sucks.

That doesn’t mean Curb Your Enthusiasm memes and not-terribly-well-thought-out digs at some of the biggest stars in the history of the business are healthy ways to deal with resentments, though. And while I tend to fall into the “it’s not so serious, let pro wrestling promoters be petty” camp as opposed to the “that’s conduct unbecoming the owner of a pro wrestling company” one when it comes to Khan’s online presence, he’s certainly not making the internet wrestling experience a less toxic one with his behavior.

Be the change you want to see in the world, Tony. You seem to have tried to do it an owner, not releasing talent mid-contract and taking other steps to make work life easier for the AEW roster. Maybe it’s time to try leading by example as an online fan?

If not that, maybe at least delegate the tweeting posting on X to someone else for a little while.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats