AEW President Tony Khan has given his response to criticism over the way the company introduces new talent to fans on television.
On Rampage, AEW fans were introduced to Shane Taylor for the first time as the former Ring of Honor Television Champion confronted his former Pretty Boy Killers’ tag team partner Keith Lee to challenge Lee to a tag team match at Final Battle.
Some took issue with Shane Taylor simply showing up with no explanation but speaking on the Battleground podcast, Tony Khan suggested that a frequent critic of AEW used that same approach when he ran WCW back in the nineties:
“There are fans who have never seen Shane Taylor before, and that’s okay. You get introduced to new faces all the time. When I was a young wrestling fan, that was one of the things I liked about WCW Nitro. I think it would be very ironic now that the same promoter [Eric Bischoff] would tell you, you don’t want to see these faces or introduce new people on TV because they were the ones who did that.”
“A lot of times these new faces or read in a magazine, I’d never seen before and they would just walk out and wrestle on Nitro like it was perfectly natural and I thought it was the coolest thing. I guess that’s not acceptable anymore even though it’s much much easier to access information on the internet than it was in 1996.”
“You saw wrestlers coming in from all promotions in the 90s on Nitro. Wrestlers coming to TBS or TNT is nothing new. People complaining about it ad nauseam on the internet is certainly new. At the end of the day, you want to listen to what the fans are saying. Overall, there has been a positive reception to a lot of international wrestlers coming to AEW.”