AEW’s Tony Khan On His Reaction When Finding Out WWE Contacted NJPW
Tony Khan has detailed what he knows about when WWE reached out to NJPW to work with them in the past.
Ever since AEW launched in January 2019, they have had an established relationship with New Japan Pro Wrestling. Over the past four years, some NJPW talent have appeared on AEW programming while AEW has sent talent to NJPW shows as well such as Kenny Omega, FTR, Jon Moxley and others.
In June 2022, AEW and NJPW worked together to present the Forbidden Door pay-per-view headlined by Moxley beating Hiroshi Tanahashi in the main event.
AEW’s Owner/President/GM and head booker Tony Khan has spoken many times about working with NJPW as a partner and how important it has been for the growth of AEW.
During an appearance on the Dan LeBatard Show, Tony Khan spoke about WWE reaching out to NJPW in the past and how he dealt with it.
“I’ll give you a good example (of the hatred between our two companies). About two years ago, there was a rumor I read on the internet that my business partner, New Japan Pro-Wrestling, had gotten a phone call from (WWE’s) Nick Khan about switching over to work with them and I was really just getting started with New Japan.”
“We only had been working together a short time and that also had been, frankly, a tumultuous relationship. But, it was getting pretty good and to this day, it is an amazing partnership and I called the New Japan executives and said, ‘Is this true? Did WWE call you and try to get you to turn on me?’ And they said, ‘Yeah’ and I said, ‘Okay, well are we still doing the stuff we have planned?’”
“Because at the time, we had a match set up for Wednesday night Dynamite where there was gonna be a New Japan Title match in AEW. It was the first of many of those such matches and they told me, ‘No, we don’t trust them. We wanna work with you and we wanna stay with you’ and ever since, our relationship has been incredibly positive and it gave me motivation to say, okay, again, I don’t know if that’s true or not.”
Tony Khan went on to say that he believed that WWE was out to get him and out to hurt AEW.
“I only know what my business partner alleged to me and what I read on the internet and they were both the same thing so, following up on that, if that’s the case, I know they’re out there to get me, I know they’re out there to hurt AEW’s relationships with our business partners if that’s the case allegedly and you know, it made me want to work that much harder to make AEW stronger and then that probably ended up being the biggest year for growth we’ve ever had.”
The next AEW pay-per-view presented by Tony Khan is called Revolution on Sunday, March 5th with MJF defending the AEW World Title against Bryan Danielson in a 60-minute Iron Man Match main event.