AEW's Tony Khan On WWE Scouting Less Indie Talent
Khan doesn't agree with WWE's new policy
Following the end of the Wednesday Night Wars, WWE has decided to move away from hiring independent wrestling talent and the company will instead look to bring in larger athletes with no background in wrestling who they can "mould like raw clay to become WWE stars." The new scouting policy in WWE will also evaluate talent based on looks as opposed to their ability inside the ring.
WWE won't completely move away from scouting indie talent, though, and the company will still evaluate an independent wrestler if they come to their attention.
Few within the wrestling world have agreed with WWE's new stance and AEW President Tony Khan also isn't a fan of the policy.
Speaking on Wrestling Observer Radio, Khan said: "There are people that look great that will never be good at this. And you can pick a hundred great looking people and you might find zero that actually are great at what wrestlers really do. A lot of the best wrestlers, if you took a hundred people and you picked 90 of them and there were 10 left over, they'd probably be in the 10 left over people.
"There's a lot of people who have made it in this business that you would never guess have that talent. But they broke through to the fans. If you auditioned people on their physical ability or how good they look in a speedo, Mick Foley or Dax Harwood or a lot of other people, Darby Allin, people aren't necessarily going to be lining up to sign those guys as their number one draft pick. But frankly I like to watch wrestling. And I think watching somebody wrestle is the best way to get a sense of how good of a wrestler they are. Listening to them talk is a great way to get a sense of how they are talking," he continued.
"You don't have to do everything, you have to do some things. But if you're not coming from a background of wrestling or coming from a background of talking in wrestling, it's a lot harder to make it. I've made investments like that. I'm not saying it's a totally crazy thing to do. Like Anthony Ogogo. He was an Olympic medallist, and I don't think in America people realised how famous Anthony Ogogo is in England. I know he's a household name and everybody in England knows who Anthony Ogogo is. It's a big deal for an international wrestling company, especially a company that is the number one wrestling TV company in England, in the UK, which is us, AEW. So I thought he made a lot of sense for us, but I also don't go out and do that stuff all the time. Most of our talent, 90% of our talent, are coming from another wrestling company, whether it's New Japan, WWE, IMPACT or the independents or somewhere else. That's philosophical, but it's also healthy to have different styles and have different people doing different things.
"I can't make them believe what I believe and I'm never going to believe what they believe, that's for sure. I think it's kind of funny, but it's harder for the independent wrestlers. I think it's good in some ways for AEW and New Japan. It intrigues me, and I think it's interesting."
H/T to Wrestling Inc.