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AEW's Tony Khan: WWE Couldn't Keep Every Wrestler "Under Their Thumb"

Tony Khan comments on WWE releases

Tony Khan has given his thoughts on WWE releasing talent. 

WWE have made major cuts to their talent roster in 2020 and 2021 and the likes of Bray Wyatt, Braun Strowman, Aleister Black, The Good Brothers, Buddy Murphy and Tony Nese have all been let go over the past 18 months. 

Some of the talent let go have ended up in All Elite Wrestling and AEW President Tony Khan was asked about the WWE releases on the Le Batard & Friends - South Beach Sessions podcast.

"Well, they had a really big roster and they've chosen to try to maximise their profit margins by letting talent go to reduce the amount of cost they have due to talent. So they had a lot of really good people and they're making choices about why people have value to them. So I can't say what number they're trying to hit, but they're definitely trying to hit a number there. So I think it's about profitability, and they're making choices I'm sure they don't necessarily want to make, but they've let good people go in the process, absolutely," Khan said.

"I think I can actually put them over and give them some credit here because they can't keep every wrestler under their thumb, they just couldn't do it. They tried to sign so many people and had cast such a wide net for so long, that inevitably, somebody with money and connections was going to be able to come in and start a wrestling business," Khan continued. 

"The disconnect [for any other potential start-up], would be they were probably going to have to pass it off to somebody else to run the business. One of the real things I had going when we launched this company was all the institutional knowledge I'd built up over the years. You know, Dynamite is a show I've been writing on paper for over 25 years for 26 years, and Rampage, its sister show, is a show I conceived over 10 years ago. So I've been wanting to do this my whole life and I really just needed somebody to believe in me, which was TNT/WarnerMedia. 

"I don't think it was really possible to stop me in this case, because, you know, I would have found a media partner, I would have found wrestlers who wanted to work with me, and I would have been able to launch a show," he added.

While he wasn't released by WWE, the latest former Superstar expected to debut in AEW is Bryan Danielson. The American Dragon departed WWE in April 2021 and he has reportedly already signed with Tony Khan's promotion.

H/T to Fightful

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Aidan Gibbons

Written by Aidan Gibbons

Cultaholic's resident newshound.