SteelChair Magazine was invited to take part in AEW’s post-Full Gear virtual media scrum, just after the show went off-air. Here are some highlights of what AEW World Tag Team Champions The Young Bucks, NWA Women’s World Champion Serena Deeb, AEW World Champion Jon Moxley, and AEW’s CEO Tony Khan had to say just after an epic night at the Daily’s Place.

This second part will be dedicated to AEW President and CEO, Tony Khan. For The Bucks, Serena Deeb and Jon Moxley, click here.

Tony Khan

  • On possible special events before ‘Revolution’ on February 27, 2021

“There’s going to be Beach Break in January, and in December, we’ve got some huge events coming up also. The Dynamites coming up are going to be huge, too. So, we’ve got some really big Dynamites coming up, and some big events in December. We’ll see some of our biggest shows we’ve done, I think, in January. Beach Break will be a great event.”

  • On Darby Allin being the first homegrown talent to win an AEW Championship

“I’m a huge fan of Darby. I think it was very appropriate that the fourth match between Cody and Darby here in AEW was this Championship win for Darby because Darby’s debut here came against Cody. Our Executive Vice-Presidents do a great job scouting people and bringing them to our attention, and Cody wanted to work with Darby from the beginning. And I was very, very up for it and was excited to sign Darby to a multi-year deal. And then quickly, when I saw what value he adds to this company, I extended it. So Darby’s signed here for many, many years to come. Because after the match, he had with Cody, I realized Darby is going to be a huge, huge star. I knew he had potential, but I had no idea until Fyter Fest in Daytona in 2019. I really, really believe in Darby. I think everybody, our fans, and everybody in the company believes in him. I’ve really tried to build Darby strong.

“It’s crazy because yesterday marks six months since the build of Team Taz vs. Darby started, so I thought it was really fitting that he won the match, and then that story is continued. It’s also fitting because it was after the third Cody/Darby match, which was the semi-finals of the TNT Title tournament, that Darby kind of had a beef set up with Taz because Taz tried to part some advice to Darby that Darby didn’t want, and then Taz kind of condescended Darby, Darby pointed out to Taz, if anybody remembers it was like six months ago yesterday, that Darby was a very accomplished amateur wrestler, so he didn’t need Taz’s condescending advice, and that led to the Casino Ladder match. We saw Taz bring in Brian Cage to stop Darby for winning, and this whole thing’s taken a lot of twists and turns. Moxley and, of course, now Ricky Starks got involved.

“We’ve done so much to try and make Darby special. If you look at all the great video packages he’s put together, he’s a really creative person, he’s a brilliant talent, he’s a crazy stunt man, but he’s also just such a great wrestler who’s got such great star power and charisma. And he’s a really gifted filmmaker, and that’s pretty cool. He’s his own man. He made himself a star, and that’s the most important thing. He’s just a really tremendous person to work with. I talk to him pretty much every day, which is funny because I don’t think there’s anybody I have less in common with than Darby. I just really enjoy working with him. I’ve really bonded with him personally. I think he’s somebody that’s really the future here.”

  • On possible plans to see Gangrel and Shane “Hurricane” Helms back in AEW 

“To be honest, I don’t have either of them booked on anything in the next loop or in the immediate future. But I’m also really open to both of them coming back. I was at the compound for the Deletion producing the match, and I spent time with both guys. I’ve known Shane Helms for a while, and I had never met Gangrel before. I really enjoyed spending time with both guys, and I’d love to see both of them come back at some point. I think that would be a lot of fun.”

  • On Don Callis commentating Kenny Omega’s match

“It was definitely something I did for Kenny, and we talked it over with IMPACT and agreed for Don to come. He’s an executive there. I’d love to have Don back here for the future. I’m open to working with people. I think we’ve shown it multiple times that AEW is probably the most friendly major company right now. We’ve got good partnerships with AAA and NWA. Kenny is the AAA Mega Champion, The Lucha Brothers are the AAA Tag Team Champions, and Serena is the NWA Women’s Champion. I love working with other companies, and you never know. I’m open to Don coming back. He did a great job on commentary.”

  • On possibly expanding the number of PPVs in 2021

“I love our big four shows. I think having Revolution, Double or Nothing, All Out, and Full Gear as the big shows spaced out for the year, ‘The Big Four’ really provides anticipation. Then, Dynamite, we have huge episodes of Dynamite, special events within Dynamite, but a lot of the episodes and cards we have are huge draws and have been huge successes. So I think we have got a great lineup. We’re going to add a third hour of television in addition to trying to develop and utilize a lot of our great talent on Dark. I think we could definitely expand our programming. I don’t think we’ll have shows like these, you know, these particular ‘Big Four’ pay-per-views. But there are other platforms and other shows will develop for sure.”

  • On the upcoming AEW Games

“I can’t say too much. We’re making multiple games. We’re working on more than one game at AEW games, and we’re going to cater to different platforms. We’re going to cater to different kinds of games and different interests. I think we’ll put a title out that’s a console game that’s a best-in-class console game. We’re really excited about it. We have some big surprises to come in 2020. I just can’t say that enough, there’s still time in 2020. The show was great, but there is still a lot to come this year. That can impact our video game plans, and I think also, we’re going to put something out for those people, like myself, that love putting wrestling cards together and allow somebody to do the job I do, which is be the general manager of AEW and book cards. So that’ll be fun. There’s going to be a few different titles, and then I don’t think we’re going to stop there either. I think we’re going to look to expand here at AEW Games because it’s a great chance to build AEW and introduce gaming fans to AEW and introduce AEW to gaming fans, expand and build a business. So there’s a lot to come from there for sure.”

  • On giving a chance to young indie talents and seeing them becoming staples for the company

“I thought, for sure, when we started AEW, a lot of the talent had been established and had a lot of TV experience, and then there was a lot of the roster that had not worked on television a lot. Now that Dynamite’s been on over a year, and we’ve been doing pay-per-views for nearly a year and a half, I think that the rosters built a lot of experience and accumulated a lot of experience working on TV. I love independent wrestling, I have for a long time. Cody, The Young Bucks, Kenny, they all scout the independents. Cody’s been a very prolific talent scout, The Bucks have great eyes for talent, and Kenny Omega too. Chris Jericho recommends great people. Eddie Kingston’s a great example, we’ve done well with him, and I think we’re fortunate that we have some great people that are great eyes for talent, and we’ve found some great talents that have developed into national wrestling stars and built a reputation on television.”

  • On building congruency between the NWA and the AEW Women’s divisions and maximize opportunities for the female talents

“Serena Deeb, who is a full-time AEW wrestler and a really important part of our roster, is the NWA Women’s World Champion. So, I mean, there was definitely a relationship, and there’s definitely a good chance you’re going to see the NWA title defended here, but the AEW Women’s title is still our top priority. We have a great Women’s Champion in Hikaru Shida. She’s defended the title against many top contenders, and I think there’s still some good matches in front of her. But I thought the match she had tonight was excellent.

“I understand what people are saying about the division. I should have probably done better to put some of Nyla’s story when she said she wasn’t going to wrestle again, and Vickie said she was going to wrestle again until they got the title shot. I should have used that on Dynamite more. I watch Dark very closely and work on Dark very closely and book Dark, so I’m obviously watching Dark, but I forget sometimes that there’s about half the audience watches Dark for us, typically.

“I probably should have put that on and then, to be honest, the time in the real world, Vickie was not able to come those weeks, not because she was sick, but because it was a conflict that she always had. So I gave her that time off, and I probably should have made it clear… There’s a lot to putting the shows together.

“I think that, definitely, our women’s title is our top priority, but Serena is one of our best women’s wrestlers, and she is the NWA World Women’s champion. I have been working with Billy and booking the matches here with the NWA title with him. I enjoy working with Billy, and I’ve enjoyed working with AAA in the past, we’ve sent wrestlers to New Japan many times, but I definitely consider Shida and the AEW Women’s World title our top priority, and Serena’s definitely somebody to keep an eye on, she is one of our top stars.”

  • On The Bucks vs. FTR match

“Matt and Nick Jackson and FTR are four brilliant storytellers, and I thought that was one of the best tag team matches you’re ever going to see, and I’m so proud that we had that on Full Gear. It was like a love letter to tag team wrestling, all the tag team finishes that they hit, all the storytelling, the selling of Matt’s injury, and then FTR, just absolute best heel tag team in the world. It was just so fun, the dichotomy of these teams, and it’s the dream match, it’s been built up so long, and it was so emotional. The pop that the Bucks got at the end says it all, it was a testament to them and how much people wanted to see them win the championships, and I’m glad that it came out that way.”

All pics, screencaps, and videos courtesy of AEW