Variety has an article looking at the first anniversary of All Elite Wrestling on TNT.
It features comments from WarnerMedia executives as well as AEW President Tony Khan. Here is an excerpt about the way AEW handled things early on in the COVID-19 pandemic.
Brett Weitz, general manager of TBS, TNT and TruTV on AEW’s success: “I think where where the rubber really met the road was during when COVID hit and watching Tony really pivot and grow. And he was able to keep those storylines going and put so many great things together, even through a global pandemic, and that tells you everything you need to know about the DNA of that brand and that guy as a producer.”
Sam Linsky, senior vice president and co-head of scripted originals for TBS, TNT and truTV on plans to expand AEW’s brand on WarnerMedia: “We have an opportunity to use all facets of WarnerMedia in a way that most places can’t. We’ve got a comic book company. We’ve got video game companies. We’ve got merchandising people. We’ve got people who make animation for television. We’ve got reality television producers. It’s all in house. So we have a real opportunity to spread this IP and grow it across WarnerMedia.”
Chris Jericho on becoming the ‘Demo God’: “I was just really getting into the whole concept of what the demo means. There is a little bit of a war, obviously, just by the fact that NXT is on a Wednesday night. We don’t really pay attention to what they do during the show. But afterwards, of course, you check in the ratings…The company really can’t point that out, but I can because I’m a heel and can say whatever I want to incorporate that and no one’s going to get any heat for it because it’s the truth.”
Tony Khan on continuing during the pandemic: “After the first two weeks of the pandemic, as our roster started to thin out, what happened was we were forced to do shows with less than 30% of our wrestling roster available to us. And I’m actually proud of those shows as I am of anything because they kept us going. I wanted to film shows to keep the storylines moving so that we could build a testing plan. I always believed that, as we’ve shown, a safe testing plan could be implemented. I didn’t know how long it was going to take to design and get all the tests we would need and get it all set up. But it came together in in about a month.”