It took four years, but AEW has killed any chance of it being a true alternative to WWE. What was once a promotion people thought would be great is now turning into the UWF. And it is all because the owner refuses to learn from his mistakes.
When AEW finally dies, let it be known it was due to Tony Khan.
This week was a prime example of comparing how someone should act and how someone should not.
In the football world we watched the New England Patriots and Bill Belichick “parted ways” and how it was managed. The Patriots fired Bill, but all parties managed to keep it quiet and spin it, so everyone got what they wanted.
Robert Kraft got the elegant solution of looking like a benevolent NFL owner. Belichick got all the money he was owed, was not fired on Black Monday, and got to look like it was his decision also.
That is true PR genius that you must applaud for tricking most fans.
Meanwhile AEW owner Tony Khan got angry about a joke from USA Network that was trivial. A slight that he should have shrugged it off.
Instead, he not only goes nuclear but manages to PROMOTE WWE in series of tweets that are embarrassing to say the least.
The staggering part is that it is the same thing that he has done for the last few years. He continues to show that despite people wanting AEW to flourish, he keeps sabotaging the company.
The tweeting alone is just proof of what I am saying. He is not a twentysomething kid who you could point to with a lack of maturity. He is a forty something man who at this point should know how to behave.
For God’s sake… this guy is an NFL Executive and an English Premier League executive. He should know better that you do not behave like a raving lunatic.
Look at the sniping back and forth with Eric Bischoff. What is the point of getting into a Twitter spat with him? TV executives look at this and immediately think that Tony is immature and unprofessional.
NOBODY in the NFL/NBA/WWE/MLB/NHL does this kind of thing. They all view this as beneath them to get into a rant with guy who is no longer in their industry.
Even Donald Trump does not just get into Twitter beefs with reporters in back-and-forth action.
And yet Tony continues to do the same things repeatedly to the point where it is disturbing. You wonder if there is something mentally wrong with him that every time somebody makes a joke about AEW… he must respond.
Meanwhile he refuses to take any action or even responsibility for what is going on in his company. The Chris Jericho drama is the latest example of Tony hurting the company by shifting responsibility.
Right now, fans are just turning on Jericho quicker than public opinion polls during election season. The NDA scandals have made Jericho just unlikeable, and fans have been booing him and serenading him with “NDA” chants.
A smart and sensible businessman would have pulled Jericho from television. Let the court of public opinion die out and hire a PR firm to make a statement about what is going on and what might happen.
Something to show that you understand and care for what is an overly sensitive and volatile situation.
Tony refused to do any of that and instead doubled down by saying they were “unconfirmed sources” and keeps shoving Jericho out there on TV.
And worse he is doing an old WWE tactic and playing music to drown out the NDA chants.
All of it because he and Jericho are close, and he views the wrestlers as friends. They are not his friends; they are employees that wrestle for a company that has a standards and practices manual.
It is depressing behavior from a guy who continues to show he is in over his head running this company. After the CM Punk disaster, you would think that Tony would learn from things. That he would become more is a businessman and separate himself from controversial stances.
Instead, he continues to double down by contradicting himself with signings or tweeting. He goes on about how he will not hire Hulk Hogan for his sexual dalliances but then hire’s Ric Flair. He talks about how AEW is a safe working environment but continues to book matches where guys are injured due to unsafe wrestling moves.
Meanwhile the ratings continue to drop and have shown no signs of going over a million viewers per episode. All of this while Hollywood aims to get back into more production on new shows or return shows.
If you think the ratings will be bad now, what happens when new episodes of NCIS, FBI, the Cleaning Lady and a variety more come out. The last six months should have been a boon for AEW while the SAG/WAG strikes were going on. Pro wrestling was one of the few shows that was not on strike and did not have to worry about being on hiatus.
All of this is just proof that Tony is going to run AEW into the ground because he refuses to change.
He talked about knowing more about wrestling than Ted Turer which was absurd when you consider… TED TURNER OWNED NETWORKS. This guy understood the basics of what people wanted to watch, what sold to mainstream viewers and how to make money.
Tony Khan has no idea about any of this as shows continue to draw less than two thousand fans. While WWE continues to sell out stadiums and arenas around the world, AEW is struggling to even sell out smaller arenas in Florida.
Instead of taking ownership of what goes on with wrestling behavior, Tony instead points to his disciplinary committee. Nobody who is an executive of a major business would ever shift blame to a “committee” made up of employees.
But Tony continues to do this as more of a way to be viewed as a nice guy and a friend to wrestlers.
At this point, the only thing that can save AEW is a change in ownership. Tony Khan is just not a competent owner and makes Dixie Carter look like a renowned business genius. His antics are downright frightening as he looks increasingly like an out-of-control fanboy.
It could be worse as he still has the pro wrestling media (or fanboys) still on his die as the Dave Meltzer’s, SRS and co refuse to call him out on his behavior. AEW fan boys like TWL and Steamy Ray Vaughn will not call him out or take him to task for his stewardship.
If he were doing this in the NFL or European Soccer Leagues… media would be calling for his removal and dubbing him “Tommy Boy” for his clown antics.
His father needs to sit him down and have a lengthy conversation about what it means to be an owner. Shad Khan is a successful businessman who made careful decisions to craft his image. He dresses for success, behaves like a gentleman, and avoids embarrassing snafus.
Tony needs to follow that example; just give up duties and X accounts all together. Let professionals run this and behave like someone who is a professional.
But at this point he will not, and you might as well just expect more of the same. More stupid tweets, erratic behavior, bad business decisions and letting wrestlers get injured or behaving like idiots.
When AEW ends up losing their TV deal and dying… just remember that it was the fault of one man.
Tony Khan killed AEW because of ego, arrogance, and stupid Twitter wars.
You can check out more interviews with athletes and sports reporters on www.lastcallpodcast.com or follow me on Twitter.com/LastCallwChrisC