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By Dave Scherer on 2023-02-19 10:00:00

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I have noticed a change in the Q and A lately.  There used to be a lot of questions questioning AEW and its product (questions I agreed with by the way).  Lately though, there seems to be more questions about WWE and what’s going on there.  Do you think that people are giving up on AEW changing its ways and going back to WWE now that it’s a lot better product?

I have noticed that too.  I think there is definitely an element of the fan base that was tired of Vince’s booking so they went over to AEW.  Then Paul Levesque took over and things got better in WWE while Tony Khan made a number of decisions that made his product borderline unwatchable to fans that think like I do.  When Tony was making the mistakes before, there was no other option since Vince’s booking was bad too, so people commented on it hoping it would get better.  Tony was our only option for a national company to put on a good show.  Now that WWE is firing strong again, those people don’t have to hope that Tony can find his way and start treating his company like something that will appeal to all fans, not just the sub group that books dream matches out of Excel files.  I think they also realize that Tony doesn't listen to legitimate constructive criticism.  With that said, AEW is back in the column today, for all of the wrong reasons.

If you are Tony Khan, what do you do to fix the ratings slide?

First off, I fire my booker.  I look at the real data, not the bizarre numbers that tell me I look pretty in my new clothes, which Tony likes to do.  I realize the main problem I have is that my booker doesn’t know how to get characters or storylines over.  I realize that my booker is too close to many of the wrestlers and that they take advantage of him.  I realize that my booker made a HUGE mistake business-wise in picking The Elite over CM Punk.  So, I fire my booker (which would be me) and hire someone competent to take the job.  I then turn my attention to being a promoter and grow the business instead of pushing a flawed concept that clearly only appeals to a smaller audience, and that base seems to be dwindling more and more every day.  Then, I get on the phone to CM Punk and see what I can do to get him back.  I am not saying Punk is perfect because he isn’t, but he’s a draw and more importantly he understands what pro wrestling is supposed to be and he can bring that back to the company.

You are Tony Khan.  When The Elite’s contracts come up, do you renew or let them walk?

My gut answer is to let them walk, just because of the actions they did towards CM Punk on TV after they returned.  Here the company had a major crisis.  They won the battle and returned and immediately acted like the petulant children, on TV, that Punk said that they were.  It’s impossible for any fair person to absolve them of their roles in the drama after the shots they took at Punk upon their return.  Also, their style of work and characters is a big part of the reason AEW appeals mostly to the indyriffic audience, which is stunting its growth.  If they aren’t there, Khan can’t lean on them.  Then of course there is the fact that now have a long running pattern of causing people to turn off AEW programming when they appear on TV.  And, I pay them seven figures and they are officers in my company!  Yeah, as soon as their deals are up, I tell all three thanks for coming and see what’s out there for you.  If they find it?  Great.  If not, where the Bucks are concerned I bring them back for maybe 20 percent of what I was paying them and put a 30 day clause in the contract where I can release them if they pull any of their shenanigans again.  In Kenny’s case, I would have more interest but I would prefer that the Bucks weren’t around to pull him into what they do.  I would love to see what he could do as the New Japan version of Kenny Omega, not the Reseda version that we get in AEW.

Cagematch ranked last night's Dynamite as the second or third worst ever, the week after Tony namedropped them on Le Batard’s show, saying how great they are.  Do you think he will cite them to point out how bad last Wednesday’s Dynamite was?

Of course not.  He ignores data that doesn’t support his narrative, he doesn’t embrace it.

I saw Chris Jericho’s CM Punk tweet on the site.  What a politician, huh?  Do you think he senses Punk is coming back?

Oh yeah, Jericho has learned well over the years.  He doesn’t do things like that by accident, that’s for sure.  I think it means he thinks that there is at least a decent chance Punk returns.

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