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By Mike Johnson on 2021-02-23 11:59:00

Earlier today, I sat down with AEW President Tony Khan to discuss a myriad of topics leading into Dynamite, the company's first-ever streaming special on Bleacher Report, NBA legend Shaq's AEW debut and Sting returning to the ring at AEW Revolution 2021.  Here is the complete transcript.

Mike Johnson: Hey everyone, it's Mike Johnson in the audio section of It is Tuesday, February 23, 2021. It is a busy time the world of All Elite Wrestling, which has a packed schedule - we've got Dynamite this week and next week we've got a streaming special on Bleacher Report and AEW Revolution pay per view on March 7th. I thought it'd be important to bring on the man who keeps all of this together - AEW President Tony Khan. We've got tons of things to talk about. You're always busy but this is a busier couple of weeks for the company. How are you doing?

Tony Khan: I'm doing very well. Lots of work in production, post-production, writing, it's been a really busy time but it's going great. Thanks for having me on.

Mike Johnson: Let's get right into it. You announced this past week an exploding barbed-wire match - Jon Moxley against Kenny Omega at AEW Revolution. It'll be the first time this is done live on pay per view on a major scale here in the United States. Discerning wrestling fans know the history of Onita and beyond in Japan. Is this going to be live as it happens or pre-taped and inserted into the show?

Tony Khan: It's going to be live. 

Mike Johnson: OK.  What are your thoughts about the reaction from fans, good and bad about the idea? 

Tony Khan: It came up a long time ago, almost a year ago. I had it in the back of my mind as something we can do. It's a great idea and the timing is right now, it's a great main event for Revolution and it's something we can do here. It's something I think we can do and will be great for the match and look, it's an exploding barbed-wire death match, I think people can expect this to be a savage match and that's what they're going to get. It's going to be one of the craziest matches ever on pay per view. Jon and Kenny tore the house down and I paid a pretty big fine in Baltimore. I think this will be crazier and better and I can't wait for Revolution. Revolution last year was my favorite wrestling show and set a huge standard to live up to and it's going to be a tremendous show, I'm really excited about it.

Mike Johnson: Now I know the type of spectacle we're looking at here. I can remember seeing Terry Funk wrestle Onita on a video tape back in 1993 and it changed my parameters of what pro wrestling could be. I have seen some fans who have said, "Well this is supposed to be a sports oriented company. This is the company that's going to live and die by wins and losses and this is the exact opposite of that." So I wanted to give you a chance to respond to those fans.

Tony Khan: I completely, completely disagree with anyone who thinks this isn't in line with that philosophy cause it's about the sport of wrestling and the art of professional wrestling. This is an accepted form of art, an accepted form of wrestling. The exploding barbed-wire death match is a real wrestling match, it's going to be awesome. I get excited about anything that takes the sport and its competitors seriously. This match should not be taken lightly, it's not a joke. We may occasionally do some fun stuff but this is serious and it's going to be awesome. When I say sports-based product, this is part of the sport, it is wrestling at its crux. It is competition and it's not going to be something silly like guys hitting each other in the face with pies. So I think it's great and it's completely in line with my original vision for the focus being on the wrestling product. This is a wrestling match - it's not your typical wrestling match and it's not going to be the most scientific contest but you're going to see all kinds of great wrestling at Revolution and this is one of the things you'll see. It's not something you'll see every night.

Interview continues on Page 2!

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