Tony Khan Says He Won’t Overhaul ROH Like WWE Did With NXT

During the post-AEW Revolution media scrum, AEW President Tony Khan spoke in length about his decision to acquire ROH, and how he plans to run two wrestling promotions at the same time.

Khan compared the situation to WWE overhauling NXT to NXT 2.0. last year, but not before asking the assembled wrestling media a question.

“What NXT do you guys think is better, the original or 2.0?”

When the reporters responded unanimously with “original,” Khan would ask a follow-up question.

“Which one do you think is more conducive to Vince McMahon’s vision of pro wrestling?”

As expected, the reporters felt the 2.0. brand was closer to McMahon’s vision of pro wrestling. This led to Khan explaining why he felt WWE made the right call in revamping NXT.

“For better or for worse, if they’re not gonna change what they’re doing to the main [roster] stuff, wasn’t it a more efficient process [to overhaul NXT]? That way, at least you’re not calling up people you don’t believe in,” Khan stressed. “Does that make sense?”

Prior to making the NXT analogy, Khan assured ROH fans that he wouldn’t tweak the presentation of the product that original ROH fans have been accustomed to for two decades.

“In the past, Ring of Honor has been more catered to a hardcore fan base,” Tony Khan said. “They never had the kind of distribution we’ve been so fortunate to get through TNT and TBS, which has really set us apart from every other wrestling company since WCW went under. I’m not going to totally disclose my plans for the ROH roster, but there are lots of opportunities. There are lots of great wrestlers out there, and here [in AEW] who are not under contract.

“ROH has an amazing history, and I do plan to respect it. I do want to keep it alive, that’s one of the reasons they [Sinclair] were excited to work with me. Joe Coff and others told me that respecting legacy was important to them, and that’s why they were so happy to see it end this way. One thing I plan to do is bring in a bunch of young wrestlers, and they already have a bunch of them. I think we’re very successful here, and I plan to continue doing very well with it, bringing in wrestlers who can work in both ROH and AEW – eventually.”

Tony Khan then once again made a reference to WWE overhauling wrestlers’ presentation after calling them from NXT to the main roster.

“For continuity sake, I [don’t want to change much about ROH],” Khan emphasized. “Other wrestling companies have had multiple promotions under one corporate structure, or under one person, I don’t think it’s conducive to have people coming into an environment…say if somebody were to come here and I’m not behind their whole act, and want to [change everything]. That’s not very conducive.”

Earlier in the scrum, Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman asked Tony Khan if there was a possibility of ROH continuing to operate as a separate promotion with their own distribution deal.

“It’s a complicated asset transfer, so I don’t want to say too much about it,” Khan responded. “Where the library, past content, and future content will be disseminated is something I can’t really say right now.

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