Tony Khan Turned Down 'WWE Backstage' Format For AEW Rampage
Khan is not a fan of the format
Tony Khan says he was not a fan of the 'WWE Backstage' format, revealing he turned down utilising the panel show-style for AEW Rampage.
WWE Backstage debuted in November 2019 on FOX Sports 1 as a part of the network's coverage of WWE. Hosted by Renee Paquette, the show got guests and analysts to consider the happenings in WWE, and is most notable for reintroducing CM Punk to the WWE Universe. It stopped airing on a weekly basis in June 2020.
AEW President Khan believes most wrestling fans aren't interested in that style of show, revealing he turned down the idea of doing something similar for AEW Rampage on Friday nights.
Speaking to Gavin Bridge at Monaco Streaming Film Festival, Khan said: "I didn't agree with [WWE] Backstage at all. I didn't think it was a good format. I had actually been pitched to do a format like that with AEW and I refused because I don't think wrestling fans want to see that format.
"Wrestling fans, when they tune in to watch their wrestling show, they want to watch wrestlers wrestle and Backstage, to me, should be like a lower-budget streaming type show. I don't know if it had the legs to carry as a TV show, even though the people involved with it were awesome and a lot of them work for me now and are huge stars.
"I want to watch CM Punk wrestle. I want to watch Christian Cage wrestle. To me, that is the bread and butter. I love watching those guys talk about wrestling, don't get me wrong, I think it would be a kick-ass streaming show, I don't know if I would build one of my TV franchises around guys talking about wrestling. At least not in the context of analyzing it and breaking it down.
"For Rampage, it was part of the format that I turned down and refused to do. They said, 'Would you do this as part of the third hour?' And I said, 'No, it's going to be wrestling.' I have a different format for it and that's where Mark Henry (does interviews). There is that talk show competent where they talk before they wrestle. That is a little bit of a twist on the format, but it's not, 'Let's look back on the week in wrestling' and have a cup of coffee together, which I think is not a good format for a TV show."