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Tony Khan was interviewed on Wednesday by Ariel Helwani to talk about the future of the company, some of the things that have transpired in the battle with WWE, MJF, and several other topics. 

Khan was asked if Rampage will eventually go live every week:

“I don't know what it will do permanently, but I know going forward for the next month, really through Full Gear, most Rampages are live. That's the idea. We're going to step it up going into Full Gear and step it up for Rampage. So we have Rampage live this week. We're doing a separate Rampage show, it's actually a standalone show, but we are doing it on a Thursday in Canada, to be honest, because it makes a lot of sense with the traveling crew and with everybody up there for a lot of reasons to do it over the Wednesday-Thursday, rather than keep everybody up there the extra day. But there's also great opportunities with keeping that venue for two days and the business deal we made was a really good deal.”

Ariel asked Tony Khan if he felt comfortable with MJF calling him a mark a few months ago on AEW Dynamite?

“This is one of those things that I don't want to talk about. But I do think I agree with everything you lead off with. I think he's one of the best wrestlers in the world. It's amazing how much he's accomplished already at such a young age. He's a great talent.”

Ariel followed up with that there was mention on the air of his contract coming up in a year and a half:

“Yeah, but I don't see how going into detail about it other than talking about his wrestling and what he brings to the show, and of course, you know, everything he brings, his great promos, his great ideas, there's a lot there. But you know, I think if you want to get into the contracts and that aspect of it with me, same as my other jobs. If you wanted to talk about the contracts at Fulham, I would probably be kind of vague. I would say I really liked the player. I think it's good business we're doing and I think it's a great transfer that we're making and we're doing a smart move for the club, but getting into the numbers and stuff, rarely will I do that.”

On his reaction to the regime change in WWE:

“I've been open to say that I think there's been a lot of improvements there and I definitely think for us, we've had a lot of big improvements in recent weeks. I think both are very competitive and had been very competitive in the past, obviously. I think in this case, now hopefully going to be good for everybody. There's probably a bit more similarity in what we're looking for in terms of the profile of a free agent, which I think is already going to start being a thing. So we'll see how that goes. I think we're looking at more similar people. There was definitely something happening this year where there were wrestlers being released from there that came here that I definitely believe belong on national television, worldwide television that are huge stars in AEW. Some of those people I think would have made sense, and I don't think if there hadn't been a switch in the person who makes that call, I'm not sure any of those people or at least many of those people would have been released. I think we were the benefit. The benefit of that was for AEW."

On if he views WWE as competition and Tony referring to AEW as a Challenger Brand:

"I've said before I think all wrestling is competition. I don't know if you've heard me say this before. Some people asked me why I'll talk about other wrestling companies, especially WWE and I'll tell you, there was literally a book handed to me over three years ago before the launch of Dynamite by Warner media at the time before it was Warner Brothers Discovery. It was telling me what our place was already, because Dynamite hadn't launched, but we had carved out a space in the Pay Per View business where it was clear we weren't a niche business because we had already outperformed every company other than WWE for 20 years. So we were already not just number two, but the biggest number two in the Pay Per View market in 20 years because the numbers we did for our first Pay Per Views were bigger than the numbers WCW was doing in their last 18 months of business. Since then we've posted numbers that nobody's done since the 90s other than WWE literally. So you know 1999, we were talking before we started very briefly before we jumped on about WCW, and I think it was mid to late '99 was the last time they saw those kinds of numbers and then never again. So we carved out a space and they handed me a book and it was how to be a challenger brand. This is what you are. A challenger brand I learned, then, three years ago, a challenger brand is not the industry leader but it is also not a niche brand. It is not that. It is a big company. It is Pepsi. It is Burger King. It is maybe Arizona iced tea, but it is a challenger brand. It's a big company, but many people don't know that they're not the industry leader, but people like them, and many people prefer them, and that's why they have a very big base. That's Pepsi. That's Burger King. That's maybe Arizona iced tea. Like I said, I think that's AEW. It's a challenger brand.”

Tony was asked what was going through his mind during the post-AEW All Out media scrum:

"I cannot share any of that with you. I appreciate and understand that you had to ask."

Tony was asked on the status of his relationship with CM Punk:

"I appreciate that you asked, but I cannot answer that."

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On if Punk is coming back:

“I can’t answer that.”

On the particulars involved in the alleged incident afterward:

“I don’t want to talk about it.”

On if he talked to Bray Wyatt or his management team about coming to AEW:

"I don't want to talk about people I haven't talked to, but he's a great guy. I think I've said this in interviews before, so I wouldn't be giving anything away. He was at Chris Jericho's birthday party. I've never talked to him about that kind of a thing in person or anything. I think he's a tremendous talent. Same as I said before, I wouldn't want to comment on stuff with people's specific negotiations."

On if he tried hard to keep Cody Rhodes:

"Again, we're in the realm of stuff I can't talk about, but I have a ton of respect for Cody and really like Cody a lot and wish him the best in everything he's doing.”

Ariel told Tony that he (Ariel) mentioned previously that the inmates were running the asylum and Tony needed to reel things in and be the boss. Ariel asked Tony to comment on that:

"Well, like I said, I'm not Bill Watts. I'm not enforcing things that way. I think the world has changed a lot. I have a lot of really good relationships with the people here. I think it's come across in the way we've been able to put a great company together so quickly to build this great roster, and now we have this great track record of success. I don't necessarily think that was the case, but I do think, you know, right now we're in a really good place as a roster as a company."

In retrospect, would he have made different moves when he started:

"No. I also don't like looking backward. You can't really do that unless you're going to look at how you're going to look forward off of it. I don't think it serves well. Also, like you said, I'm pretty busy. I don't necessarily have the time to do that. So it's pretty important to me, to make sure that we're surrounded by really great people, and most importantly, I want to make sure that everybody comes to work and feels like it's a good place to work and I want to make sure that everybody gets opportunities. But really, at the end of the day, everybody who's come to AEW knows coming in there's a sense of security here that they haven't necessarily had at other wrestling promotions. A lot of the people I've brought in were part of layoffs and cost cutting, and not like desperate cost cutting times are tight cost cutting, it's like record profits cost cutting. If I was making record profits, I probably wouldn't be laying off dozens of people. So that's some of what I'm talking about when I talk about compassion and being a good boss, and frankly, when I talk about, you know, I'm not necessarily the same guy as some person who shares a surname."

Tony was also asked if he had ever spoken with Nick Khan and Stephanie McMahon. He said that he had spoken with Nick but not in person but he did not elaborate on when that talk happened. Tony also said that he believed that at one point he was friends with people in WWE management and he had spoken with Stephanie before. He did not say when but most likely, he's talking about pre-AEW because he said they were friendly with him when they knew him as the owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars. It is also no secret that Khan has been backstage at least once a few years before AEW was launched.

Click below for the full interview.

If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit The Ariel Helwani Show with a h/t to WrestlingNews.co for the transcription.