All Elite Wrestling’s President Tony Khan recently joined the South Beach Sessions podcast. During the show, he was asked about when his father, Shahid “Shad” Khan, realized that AEW would be a success.
Tony Khan On His Father’s “Leap Of Faith”
Tony recalled how that moment didn’t occur until the promotion had launched. Up until that time, Shad had been working on a “leap of faith” based off of projections Tony provided him.
“I had to tell him, ‘I expect people are going to buy these PPVs, I expect we’re going to get this television deal, right now is the perfect time to start a wrestling company because of the abundance of talent that’s available.”
It wasn’t until Warner Media executive Kevin Reilly got involved that Shad was able to see the potential the existed within his son’s ideas.
Tony explained how “With Kevin coming in, my dad was of course interested because here’s the president of WarnerMedia, the president of these huge cable channels, TNT and TBS, so he’s showing some interest in this, so my dad’s I think thinking, ‘Okay well I probably should show up and show some interest in this,’ but he knew when that happened, ‘Okay, well if the networks are taking a look at this, then this must be a serious deal.’”
Creating An Alternative
Despite his initial skepticism and concerns, Tony Khan shared how his father’s leap of faith had paid off. Although Tony had his own worries, he believed in wrestling fans and the wrestling community. He thought the promotion would be the alternative that fans have been wanting and that AEW would “make people sit up and take notice.”
Since the launch of AEW, many have praised Khan’s efforts and vision. Jim Ross even referred to Khan as “the smartest young wrestling guy I’ve ever been around.”
H/T to Wrestlezone for the transcription.