Tony Khan Discusses AEW Collision, Provides Update On Dark And Dark: Elevation
AEW CEO Tony Khan discusses the looming premiere of AEW Collision and the status of AEW Dark and Dark: Elevation.
On May 17, Warner Brothers Discovery confirmed that AEW’s new show, AEW Collision, would premiere on June 17. Ahead of the announcement, AEW stopped airing new episodes of AEW Dark and Dark: Collision; the two shows reportedly came to an end as part of an agreement with Warner Brothers Discovery that would see all of AEW’s in-ring content air on WBD properties.
Speaking on the AEW Double or Nothing media call, Khan discussed the addition of AEW Collision to the company’s television lineup. He stated that AEW Collision will be a great chance for a lot of the roster before he noted that he has been intentionally secretive about where AEW Collision is going. Khan teased that he will share more information closer to the launch of the show.
“Well, I’m definitely trying to build up hype for the show,” Khan said. “Right now, obviously, we’re very focused on Double or Nothing at this moment, but going forward as we come out of Double or Nothing a huge focus to us will be the expansion of our television and AEW Collision. I think with AEW Dynamite, AEW Rampage, and now AEW Collision we’re gonna have three great shows. It’s no secret at this point that AEW Dark and AEW Dark: Elevation are no longer running.
“But that is a good thing. That was part of an agreement with Warner Brothers Discovery to expand our partnership, and that means AEW Collision is starting and it’s a great chance for a lot of the roster. What this means going forward I have been a little intentionally secretive about where this is all going, and I think it’s a good thing. I do plan on rolling out more information and specifics as we get closer to the launch of Collision, but right now, I think we’ve built great anticipation, and I expect great sales for the first event at the United Center.”
Khan continued by describing how he hopes having another two-hour TV show will help AEW build momentum and build more matches on the road to pay-per-views. He made it clear that he believes the launch of AEW Collision will make AEW a better, stronger company.
“I’m hoping that’ll lead to a lot of momentum on Saturdays going forward for Collision, and I think it should be the case that having more of a TV presence and another two-hour wrestling show in addition to Dynamite now with Dynamite and Collision, along with that great one hour slot for Rampage,” Khan said. “Now I think we can do more, build more matches towards the pay-per-view, and also give more people an opportunity to become top stars and get those big match opportunities. So I think AEW with the launch of Collision, we’re going to be a better, stronger company.
“As far as who’s going to be on Collision who’s wrestling who, what’s going to happen, and how this is all going to work. As we get closer to it, I will reveal more information. I think it makes sense to focus on Double or Nothing and the build to that great event this Sunday. But I think it’s also really exciting for AEW that people want to know where this is all going and what’s going to happen going forward.”
As for AEW Dark and Dark: Elevation, Khan stated that they are not running right now, and they won’t be for the semi-long term future due to AEW’s agreement with Warner Brothers Discovery. He noted that the lack of the two shows could be an incentive to watch AEW TV,
“Going forward, AEW Dark and AEW Elevation, at least for the immediate and semi-long term future are not running right now,” Khan said. “It’s part of an agreement we have with Warner Brothers Discovery now that I can talk a little bit more about now that AEW Collision has been announced and everyone knows Collision is coming to Saturday nights, two hours. And as a trade, we are not running Dark and Elevation but it’s a great opportunity in my opinion for fans to watch AEW’s top stars on TV and get more of the stars on TV.”
Khan also highlighted Ring of Honor and emphasized that it’s not a feeder promotion, as a number of names from the independent scene and the AEW roster, as well as ROH’s own champions, gives it a lot of depth. He stated that ROH is a great opportunity for independent wrestlers to compete, and some of them get a tryout opportunity by working the tapings.
“We’ve seen top champions, I mean some of the best wrestlers in the world hold titles in Ring of Honor right now. When you look at the lineup of champions in ROH with Claudio Castagnoli, Samoa Joe, Athena, Katsuyori Shibata, the Lucha Bros, along with Brian Cage and The Gates of Agony, it’s a really strong lineup of champions. Some of the best wrestlers in the world hold titles in ROH right now. So it’s definitely not a feeder promotion. It’s definitely its own great company that stands on its own two feet with over 21 years of history and some of the best wrestlers in the world have competed there. But it’s also not the same thing as AEW, it’s not five hours of TV, it’s a different company. And I believe it’s a great opportunity for a lot of indie wrestlers to come in and make their showing. It gives me an opportunity to bring a lot of top independent wrestlers and even people on tryout opportunities into Ring of Honor for some of those chances that might have only existed on Dark before. But Ring of Honor also has a lot of the things you didn’t have on Dark like championships and kinds of compelling personal rivalries that people want to see. So I think in many ways, Ring of Honor is a great value.
“We go into one of the biggest weekends for AEW with Double or Nothing. I think it’s a really exciting time to look at the roster starting from the top with a lot of the top names competing this Sunday on pay-per-view and then a lot of other people getting featured on TV and streaming on ROH and trying to build a new ecosystem without Dark and Elevation.”
Stay tuned for more information about AEW Collision as it becomes available.
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