Tony Khan talks about how AEW handled the Covid-19 pandemic differently from WWE

During an interview with Vegas Film Critic Jeffrey K. Howard, AEW President discussed how AEW handled the Covid-19 pandemic differently from WWE…

“Well, the first week I came up with the idea of putting the wrestlers who weren’t in the matches, every wrestler I could get around the ring, to create an audience, and people enjoyed it. It was very different than watching the alternative. Our competitor was running empty arena shows. I stayed with that at first and kept the wrestlers at ringside through the pandemic for several months. We stayed on the air through the pandemic, debuted some stars including the late great Mr. Brodie Lee and Matt Hardy in the pandemic. We’re able to keep fans interested. Frankly, I told people, this is voluntary. You don’t have to come to the wrestlers. We had a small crew and I built around that crew. Then people started to come back as we got deeper into the pandemic. Our competition through the pandemic, a few months later, they went to a fan wall like you saw in other sports, TV screens. I thought, ‘let’s bring wrestling back with live fans safely’ and we did it.”

“We had no COVID transmissions by going into an outdoor amphitheater and spacing people out where each seating section, a family or group of friends, could sit in what we called a pod. It would be like a drive-in movie. You had your own section of seats in this case. There’s no one near you, you’re outdoors, and it was great. It brought the fans back to pro wrestling. There were months and months where that was the only place you could watch pro wrestling anywhere in the world where the fans were cheering the matches.” (quotes courtesy of