Tony Khan Says WWE & AEW Hate Each Other, Addresses WWE's Alleged Contract Tampering

Tony Khan claims WWE and AEW ‘hate each other’ in new interview

It seems that relations between AEW and WWE are worse than we had thought, with AEW President Tony Khan claiming the two US pro wrestling companies ‘hate’ one another.

Khan made the claims during an appearance on the Dan Le Batard Show in the run up to Super Bowl LVII, with Khan saying the following about his competition:

“I can’t really comment on what their (WWE) internal struggles/internal strife’s are because I don’t work there and I’m not there. I can only speak to the challenges we’ve had and I got a lot of wrestlers come to me and allege that WWE reached out to them to tamper with their contracts and ask them to break their contracts. I can’t confirm that specifically. I can only tell you what the wrestlers have come to me and said. But I’ve had multiple wrestlers and staff report that to me. It was very disturbing, and I’ve had to go out and try to put on good shows despite this alleged tampering, stuff like that. But frankly, I don’t think it’s stopped us because the quality of the product and the quality of the shows is at an all-time high right now,” said Khan.

Reports in August 2022 suggested that WWE had approached several contracted AEW stars about the prospect of jumping ship to WWE, with AEW’s legal team believed to have directly contacted WWE to tell them to cease such discussions.

“The wrestling business is very dirty,” continued Khan. “I can’t speak to the fight business but certainly, I think it’s more organised than the fight business, as far as there’s two, I think, well-organised promotions competing with each other. Again, I don’t know if these things have happened. I only know what people have come to me and alleged. But, I do know it’s a real war between AEW and WWE and the fans are interested in it and that was part of the original business model of AEW was I knew wrestling fans, frankly, are very interested in wrestling free agency and wrestling wars and I believe we could create a free agent market that is definitely a real thing now and that would be a big part of the story. I think wrestling fans, at the end of the day, that a lot of what happens in wrestling shows is sometimes story and that’s why people like watching the shows. They like stories and the exciting matches and especially, the combination of the two when the stories lead to exciting matches and vice versa. Now, what’s interesting is the story that is the most real, the most intense and the most hatred in all of pro wrestling is that between the two wrestling promotions. I think we truly, truly hate each other and I think it makes for really exciting TV and it makes for an exciting wrestling war.”

Khan continued, noting how WWE’s Nick Khan allegedly contacted New Japan in 2021 to try and establish a working relationship despite NJPW working with AEW:

“I’ll give you a good example. About two years ago, there was a rumour I read on the internet that my business partner, New Japan Pro-Wrestling, had gotten a phone call from Nick Khan about switching over to work with them and I was really just getting started with New Japan. We only had been working together a short time and that also had been, frankly, a tumultuous relationship. But, it was getting pretty good and to this day, it is an amazing partnership and I called the New Japan executives and said, ‘Is this true? Did WWE call you and try to get you to turn on me?’ And they said, ‘Yeah’ and I said, ‘Okay, well are we still doing the stuff we have planned?’ Because at the time, we had a match set up for Wednesday night Dynamite where there was gonna be a New Japan Title match in AEW. It was the first of many of those such matches and they told me, ‘No, we don’t trust them. We wanna work with you and we wanna stay with you’ and ever since, our relationship has been incredibly positive and it gave me motivation to say, okay, again, I don’t know if that’s true or not. I only know what my business partner alleged to me and what I read on the internet and they were both the same thing so, following up on that, if that’s the case, I know they’re out there to get me, I know they’re out there to hurt AEW’s relationships with our business partners if that’s the case allegedly and you know, it made me want to work that much harder to make AEW stronger and then that probably ended up being the biggest year for growth we’ve ever had,” said Khan.

H/T: POST Wrestling

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Written by Jack Atkins

Scripts, news, and features writer. Anything with words, basically.