Tony Khan Reveals Why AEW Takes Shots At WWE
Tony Khan sees AEW as a challenger brand
From Cody Rhodes' throne smash to Tony Khan's promo on Nick Khan to the professional wrestling vs. sports entertainment storyline on TV, All Elite Wrestling have not been shy about taking shots at WWE since the promotion was founded in 2019.
According to Tony Khan, though, the punch-up mentality was handed to him by WarnerMedia three years ago, with the AEW President noting that AEW are a challenger brand as opposed to the industry leader.
"I've said it before, I consider all wrestling as competition. Some people ask me why I'll talk about other wrestling companies, especially WWE, and I'll tell you. It was literally a book handed to me over three years ago before the launch of [AEW] Dynamite by WarnerMedia at the time before it was Warner Bros. Discovery. It was telling me what our place [was] already because Dynamite hadn't launched, but we had carved out a space in the pay-per-view business," Khan told Ariel Helwani.
"They handed me a book. It was [about] how to be a challenger brand. This is what you are. A challenger brand I learned then, three years ago, is not the industry leader, but it is also not a niche brand. It is not that. It is a big company. It is Pepsi [to Coca-Cola.] It is Burger King [to McDonald’s.] What will get Burger King marketing? What is Burger King marketing? Basically a lot of it is 'hey McDonald's sucks guys.' So for AEW, it's just part of what we are. We're a challenger brand. There's no reason to pretend we're not. That's what you are. Embrace it. So it is literally a corporate philosophy handed down on high to me by my boss."
Relations between WWE and AEW appeared to be thawing this year but that has since changed as WWE approaching AEW talent has caused severe disruption within Tony Khan's promotion in recent months, with Malakai Black, Buddy Matthews, and Andrade El Idolo reportedly all wanting out.
H/T to SEScoops