Tony Khan Comments On Working With NJPW Now That Harold Meij Isn’t In Charge


During a recent interview with TSN, Tony Khan commented on working with NJPW and how it may be easier without Harold Meij in charge, AEW’s third show, and more. You can check out some highlights from the interview below:

On the MJF and Chris Jericho musical segment: “When they brought the idea to me, it was different. The original idea was different from what we ended up doing, too, because I’m big on realism. There’s nothing unrealistic about pro athletes singing or dancing and we see it in music videos all the time. We’ve seen athletes do musical numbers. When I was a kid, the [Chicago] Bears did the ‘Super Bowl Shuffle.’ So it’s not crazy to have these great athletes singing and dancing. And both of them have a background in music and/or the theatre, so it made a lot of sense from that perspective. It might have been confusing to some wrestling fans, but it was very consistent with the characters of Chris Jericho, who is not just a wrestler, but also a musician and with MJF as these two really egotistical guys would film this ostentatious, over-the-top music video. I don’t think it would have fit for other people’s characters, but for them it made perfect sense.”

On people who criticize the segment for being out of line with AEW’s professed vision: “I don’t think there was anything unrealistic about it and people always say, ‘You said you were always going to present a sport-based product.’ Well, I mean it. That episode had so much wrestling in it. That was the episode with Penta El 0 Miedo versus Fenix. It was the beginning of our contender tournament. We had great stuff. Hangman [Adam Page] and Colt Cabana had a great match. Wardlow and Jungle Boy was an excellent match. We had a tag contender match on the show. The four-way was great. So we had tons of good wrestling on the show and it felt like this was the one big non-wrestling segment… It was the highest rated segment in the demo in all of wrestling on the Wednesday. So I think it was an idea to get people talking, which worked, and it built some more buzz on the [MJF vs. Jericho] match for the [Full Gear] pay-per-view.”

On possibly working with NJPW now that Harold Meij has exited that company: “With New Japan, it’s been a little more one-sided where we’ve sent people there and I haven’t really had people from New Japan show up on my TV [programming] yet. I’d like to see more of a two-sided relationship there because I’m honestly one of the easiest people to work with in wrestling. We’ve worked with NWA, we’ve worked with AAA and we’ve sent people to New Japan. I think with Harold being gone, I don’t know if it’s going to be easier, but I have a feeling it might be.”

On being open to working with other promotions: “I’d like for AEW to be the centre point of the wrestling world where all these big stories culminate. So I’m really open to working with anybody if the situation makes sense for us.”

On their planned third show: “It’s going to launch in 2021. We’ve worked it out with TNT. It’s 100 per cent going to launch in 2021. I don’t have the exact date yet, but I would look out for it soon and it’s right around the corner.”

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