With one of the biggest Dynamite episodes of the year coming up with tomorrow’s Blood & Guts show and a Ring of Honor PPV on Friday night, Tony Khan held a media call this afternoon (July 18).
In addition to those events, AEW’s calendar is packed for the next several months. There have also been a couple widely discussed reports about the company’s talks with their media rights partners at Warner Bros Discovery, and a leaked “banned moves” document.
Khan touched on most of those things during the call:
• A women’s Blood & Guts match was discussed this year, and it likely would have involved former Women’s champion Jamie Hayter. Injuries within the division, including to Hayter, ended those discussions.
• Details on how fans will be able to watch All In will be released in “due time and soon”. The show from Wembley Stadium will air in primetime in the United Kingdom and in the afternoon in the U.S.
• He downplayed the “banned moves” document, saving that’s always informally existed. TK positioned it as more of a reference for talent & officials. Exceptions are on a case-by-case basis, and if a request for one from someone like Kenny Omega would carry more weight.
• Asked about the rumors of WBD requesting an expanded PPV schedule, Khan confirmed those discussions have taken place. He said he’s happy with their current model but “it’s something everyone believes could be revenue positive”. He also said he believes “no wrestling company that has ever expanded its pay-per-view calendar due to demand and economics has ever regretted that decision.” Reading between the lines, it sounds like this will eventually happen.
• The strong ratings for last Saturday’s Battle of the Belts were brought up as a way to ask about a three hour Dynamite. Khan called it “an interesting question”, and mused about the ways they use their existing 5-6 hours a week of television time but otherwise didn’t get into specifics.
• Bryan Danielson’s injury is worse than they initially believed and there’s currently no timetable for his return. Danielson wants to come back as soon as possible, of course. He hasn’t been to shows or meetings since Forbidden Door, but is in frequent contact with Khan to discuss ideas.
• While acknowledging criticism of how late the card for Death Before Dishonor’s came together, Khan called it one of the more difficult shows he’s ever had to book. Without admitting that Eddie Kingston vs. Claudio Castagnoli was initially going to be the main event, he talked about the issues Kingston working New Japan’s G1 Climax tournament caused. Even so, he thinks it will be great for Eddie and — once he returns — great for AEW & ROH.
• They pivoted to Mark Briscoe as Castagnoli’s opponent, but Briscoe was apparently much more banged up than he’d let anyone know. AEW doctors were surprised by the extent of his injuries, which were even said to be affecting Mark’s quality of life. Several pre-taped segments had to be scrapped when Briscoe was pulled. Claudio’s new opponent will be announced this week (which it has to be, unless they do a surprise challenger angle).
• He wanted to announce Willow Nightingale vs. Athena sooner, but the Owen Hart Tournament plans meant they couldn’t.