WWE CEO Nick Khan has discussed his feelings toward AEW, saying he never felt threatened by the company but Tony Khan “seems like a nice kid.”
Nick Khan is now the sole CEO of WWE following the resignation of Stephanie McMahon from her roles in recent weeks. Her departure come amid some upheaval as Vince McMahon returned to the WWE Board of Directors before being installed as Executive Chairman.
Appearing on The Bill Simmons Podcast, Nick Khan was asked for his thoughts on AEW and revealed he spent an afternoon with Tony Khan’s father, Jacksonville Jaguars and Fulham FC owner Shahid Khan and was hugely impressed by him and that he’s sure Tony Khan appreciates his father’s funding for AEW:
“I’ve never met the kid, Tony Khan seems like a nice kid to me, I don’t know him. I have met his dad [Shahid Khan] who randomly I sat next to at some sports business luncheon that Stephanie [McMahon] and I went to a year and a half or so ago. I thought the dad was as impressive as could be, I think there was a piece on him in the New York Times a year or so prior to that. A self-made billionaire, I believe Pakistani immigrant, could not be more impressed with him.”
“[…] He made his money in the auto-parts business I believe so he knows that inside out. I don’t believe he’s involved on the wrestling side of the business – I’m talking about the storylines – outside of financing it. He has the pockets and that’s awesome and I’m sure his kid appreciates it but I was never threatened by that. But I don’t feel threatened by anyone on anything.”
Nick Khan then noted that anyone can run a business at a loss, and while not directly discussing AEW as he hasn’t seen the private company’s books, he touts WWE’s very public success over the last year:
“[…] I don’t care what anyone else is doing, I care what we’re doing and as long as we can have the best product on with the best talent and the best writers, I think we’re gonna be in good shape. […] I will say this anyone can run a business at a loss as long as someone continues to finance it, continues to finance it. [Asked if he means AEW] I don’t know their books, I haven’t seen their books. I know our books which are public, we’re off highest grossing revenue in 2022, highest profitability in 2022 – other big factors on why Vince [McMahon] wants to explore a potential alternative now.”
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