All Elite Wrestling CEO Tony Khan held a media call on Thursday ahead of the company’s next pay-per-view, Full Gear, scheduled for Saturday. While remaining mostly tight-lipped about the controversial situation with former AEW champion CM Punk, Khan did reveal some nuggets of information about some other current AEW events.
Warner Bros. Discovery called “no go” on the Briscoes
A highly-anticipated match between AAA tag team champions FTR and the Brisco Brothers, the 12-time Tag Team Champions in Ring of Honor, never took place on AEW televison because parent company Warner Bros. Discovery allegedly blacklisted the Briscoes. That decision was allegedly made in connection by tweets made by Jay Briscoe which criticized gay marriage. Briscoe later apologized for those remarks.
Khan seemed to confirm the rumors of WBD’s prevention of that match as AEW programming.
“ROH allowed me to book FTR in a main event of a pay-per-view in a match against the Briscoes in a match I literally could not book on AEW,” Khan said, “and believe me, I’ve tried.” The match took place at the ROH pay-per-view event Death Before Dishonor in July, with FTR emerging as the victors in a two-out-of-three-falls match. Khan is also the owner of Ring of Honor.
Who came up with the current Nyla Rose/Jade Cargill storyline?
Former AEW Women’s Champion Nyla “The Native Beast” Rose stole current TBS champion Jade Cargill’s belt a few weeks ago. Since then, Rose has been beating opponents and mocking Cargill, calling herself the “real” TBS Champ. It’s been fun seeing the normally cool and collected Cargill flustered in her attempts to reclaim the belt from Rose. Meanwhile, Rose has been showing off her considerable comedic skills while evading Cargill’s attempts to take back what is hers.
The idea for this wacky storyline came from an arguably unexpected source. “The first person who actually mentioned it was Tony Schiavone in a meeting,” Khan said, “and I thought it was great.”
In addition to being part of the commentary team on AEW’s flagship show, Dynamite, Schiavone is also the company’s Senior Producer and Special Advisor and Talent Relations.
A new tradition to continue in 2023
A tournament honoring late wrestling great Owen Hart is expected to take place again in 2023. Hart, brother of Bret “Hitman” Hart, was killed at a WWE event in 1993 as the result of an equipment malfunction. Owen Hart’s wife, Martha, has been vocal in her criticism of WWE since her husband’s death. However, she agreed to allow AEW to honor Owen Hart with a tournament in his name.
“I would like to continue my great relationship with Dr. Martha Hart and her family,” Khan said, adding that he “loved having them in AEW.”
“I think we can do some really compelling things next year,” Khan said before singling out Chris Jericho for “facilitating that connection during the pandemic.”
The first Owen Hart Tournament took place in 2022, with Adam Cole and Dr. Britt Baker, DMD, being crowned the King and Queen of Harts.
Could Thunder Rosa’s reign be in danger?
AEW Women’s Champion Thunder Rosa, who has been on the injured list for months, is not expected to return to the ring until sometime in 2023.
In an interview with Bleacher Report, Interim Women’s Champion Toni Storm said she’s ready to “stop this interim nonsense.”
“That’s kind of what’s been bothering me.” Storm said. “I think that’s been bothering a lot of people because she’s still calling herself the AEW Women’s World Champion, and I’m the one here every week doing the work.”
Khan said stripping Rosa of her championship is not off the table. “It’s something we have considered,” Khan said, “and I’m still weighing the pros and cons. It’s not an easy situation, and I try to take everything on a case-by-case basis. Eventually, you would have to crown a lineal champion.”
Khan had no idea CM Punk was going to hijack the media scrum after “All Out”
In response to a question from reporter Nick Hausman of Wrestling Inc., Khan said he had no forewarning that Punk would be making the incendiary comments that allegedly led to a backstage brawl at the All Out event in September. Punk began his portion of the post-show media scrum directly addressing Hausman about his relationship with Punk’s former friend, wrestler Colt Cabana.
The resulting fallout caused the suspension of Punk and The Elite (Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks). While The Elite are slated to return to action at Full Gear, Punk’s status with the company remains unclear. While some observers have posited the opinion that Punk’s behavior at the scrum was pre-planned, Khan shot that theory down.
“I don’t want to comment,” Khan told Hausman, “but you were sitting five feet away from me and I did not know. I never know. No, I didn’t know, but I will not comment beyond that except to say I had (former tag team champions, Swerve in Our Glory) Keith (Lee) and Swerve (Strickland) and Toni Storm (current interim AEW Women’s Champion) after that. I had important stuff to talk with them about.”
“I was thinking about Keith and Swerve and Toni in some ways, to be honest,” Khan added, “but that’s all I’m going to say.”
All Elite Wrestling’s Full Gear will stream live in the U.S. from the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ, on Saturday, Nov. 19, at 8 p.m. ET on the Bleacher Report app, website and connected devices for $49.99.