Tony Khan: There Is Nothing New About Wrestling Tribalism, It's Just More Widespread Now
Khan admits to being a part of it 20 years ago
Tony Khan says there is 'nothing new' about wrestling tribalism but believes the only key difference is that it's more widespread due to the internet.
Since AEW’s inception in 2019, the tribalism between WWE fans and AEW fans has steadily grown in intensity. While some fans still enjoy both promotions and products, many others take to the internet to often argue why their chosen company is better than the other.
AEW President Khan feels that this is not that different than the tribalism that took place between WWF, WCW, and ECW twenty years ago.
Speaking to Monaco Streaming Film Festival, Khan said: "There is nothing new [about tribalism], there is nothing new about that. It’s just more widespread than it used to be, but even in the last wrestling boom, online, there was a great amount of this. It was just the medium was very different– there were less people in the chat rooms, the forums. This was all happening on dial up internet for the most part, and there was a huge amount of tribalism back then and I was a part of it.
"And now I see it, not from the other side but where the battlefield is just much larger. There is much, much bigger of a fanbase online talking about these events, talking about AEW and WWE compared to when I was a kid. Now, the companies people probably talk about the most are WWE, AEW, and NJPW. I would say, when I was a kid, it was the WWF, WCW, and ECW. New Japan was a company that worked with WCW a lot but they hadn’t necessarily built as much of a reputation in America where they could stake a claim that they were one of the top 3 companies legitimately. So, that’s pretty interesting.
"The battlefield on television is very different. There may not be as many linear TV viewers as there were, which is kind of misleading to people, I think, because then they think the wrestling boom isn’t real. The pay-per-views show that it’s real, and really, the TV revenues are what make it real because the TV rights fees are much higher than they ever were."
H/T Wrestling Inc.