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Tony Khan Open To AEW And WWE Super-Show


AEW President Tony Khan is willing to keep pro wrestling’s forbidden door open for a potential supershow with WWE.

While appearing on The Ringer’s The Masked Man Show (h/t Wrestling Inc), Khan said he would consider joining forces with WWE for one night: “I’m not sure that’s going to happen, but I would be open to talking about that kind of thing. It’s not crazy, but it’s a bold prediction.”

Khan recently purchased Ring of Honor, which served as an unofficial feeder system of sorts for WWE for several years, and spearheaded a combined show with New Japan Pro-Wrestling that was a rousing success. June’s joint AEW-NJPW pay-per-view Forbidden Door amassed roughly 125,000 PPV buys, good for more than $5 million in revenue, and achieved a $1 million gate.

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Despite criticism of whether Forbidden Door will help or hurt AEW’s relationship with not just its fan base but its own roster in the long run, the show’s financial success demonstrated that there is certainly a market for major pro wrestling promotions to work together to craft a card full of potential dream matches. Consider that, according to Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer (h/t WrestlingNews.co), roughly 80 percent of Forbidden Door’s buys were from the United States, and that’s an indicator that the US market, in particular, could be very interested in a WWE -AEW super show.

Is it likely? No. Is it possible? As the saying goes, anything is possible—especially in pro wrestling.

Khan recently worked with WWE to allow Chris Jericho, Bryan Danielson (aka Daniel Bryan) and Paul “Big Show” Wight to appear in pre-taped segments that aired on last week’s Monday Night Raw to celebrate John Cena’s 20th anniversary with WWE. In addition, Khan had previously allowed Jericho to appear on Stone Cold Steve Austin’s Broken Skull Sessions podcast, which showed that, as the cliche goes, never say never when it comes to the squared circle.

Of course, brief video appearances are a far cry from full-fledged joint shows, but with Vince McMahon willing to allow AEW stars on WWE-produced shows and Khan open to working with WWE even in a minor capacity, that means that the forbidden door between AEW and WWE is ever so slightly ajar. The real question here is whether or not WWE, like AEW, would ever seriously consider such a show and if it would benefit WWE in any way.

On the surface, WWE and AEW are both pro wrestling companies, but their audiences aren’t exactly the same. AEW focuses more on in-ring competition and the sports aspect of pro wrestling whereas WWE refers to itself as “sports entertainment,” focusing less on wrestling and more on the theatrics and drama that come along with it. That doesn’t necessarily prevent the companies from working with one another, but it’s one of many factors that could make a potential AEW-WWE partnership, even a very brief one, iffy at best.

There are also questions about why? WWE would promote and host a show that would do much more for AEW than it would for WWE. Estimates put AEW’s 2021 revenue at roughly $84 million while WWE raked in more than $1 billion in revenue during that span. In other words, WWE is lightyears ahead of AEW in terms of its global reach and financial impact, which is to be expected given that AEW hasn’t even existed for four years.

But it’s also an indicator of the stark differences between the two companies and why, even if Khan is open to working with WWE, that feeling may not be mutual. That won’t prevent Khan from even mentioning this as a possibility from becoming a major source of debate among pro wrestling fans, who could come up with hundreds of potential dream matches—any combination of which could result in one of the best PPV cards in pro wrestling history.

Imagine Wardlow vs. Brock Lesnar. Or Roman Reigns vs. Kenny Omega. Or The Usos vs. The Young Bucks. Or Becky Lynch vs. Britt Baker. The possibilities would truly be endless, and that is undeniable. But for now, Khan’s mere mention of working with WWE is something cool to think about—nothing more, nothing less.

But crazier things have happened in pro wrestling, and who knows? Maybe that could change.

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