newsaew news and notes whats tony khan going to do with ring of honor

AEW News and Notes: What’s Tony Khan going to do with Ring of Honor?

Chris Graham

AEWTony Khan is the new owner of Ring of Honor, the wrestling company founded in 2002 from the ashes of ECW, and a spiritual parent to his AEW, which Khan launched in 2019.

ROH had gone on hiatus late last year, with plans to return in April with its “Supercard of Honor” pay-per-view, but according to Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio, the company had made overtures to Khan and to WWE to gauge interest in selling out.

“Ring of Honor’s influence on modern professional wrestling is etched permanently in the history books, and this acquisition ensures that its legacy will be kept alive and treated with the utmost respect,” Khan said.

For Khan, purchasing Ring of Honor’s assets, which because the company had let most of its talent go before the hiatus is pretty much just its tape library, makes a lot of sense, considering that so many of his top talents had long runs in ROH, and that the rights to the 2019 “All In” pay-per-view that was effectively the launch of AEW were owned by Ring of Honor.

It will be interesting to see what Khan does with the brand from here forward. As mentioned, there is the “Supercard of Honor” show scheduled for April 1 in Garland, Texas, in the days leading up to WrestleMania weekend in Dallas, that as far as we know now is still on.

Will Khan go ahead with planned TV tapings following “Supercard of Honor” and try to build on the ROH brand?

He seemed to hint at doing just that last night.

“This deal adds thousands of hours of content to our rapidly growing library and creates new opportunities to expand our footprint on a national and global scale, while having the potential to produce new content under the ROH banner,” Khan said.

Highlights from Khan’s ‘Revolution’ presser

Khan talked with reporters for close to an hour on Wednesday to promote the upcoming “Revolution” pay-per-view (Sunday, 8 p.m.).

Among the highlights:

Khan was asked about his efforts to get AEW in position for its next TV contract. Its current deal with WarnerMedia runs through 2023.

“Yes, there is definitely a goal to be as strong of a company or the strongest company we’ve ever been when it comes time to sign a new TV contract,” Khan said. “I think that could happen at any time if we were to renew, and I love where we’re at. So that would be great. I think that they’re very happy with our performance. You know, certainly, ‘Dynamite’ has been so strong since it moved to TBS every single week. Since the premiere, we’ve been in the top three on cable, and we’ve had huge growth year over year with the move to TBS, and I think that we’ll continue to keep a great audience for the next few years. And hopefully, we’ll be in the strongest position we’ve ever been in whenever it comes time to sign a new contract.”

Khan was also asked about the challenge of managing his growing roster and finding TV time for all of the talents with just three hours of broadcast programming per week.

“Well, it is challenging to manage such a huge roster, and it’s a good challenge, because I think we have the best roster in professional wrestling right now,” Khan said. “There are so many great stars on it, and I’m always excited when we can strengthen it and bring new people in. I am very, very pleased that we’ve had such a great partnership with TNT and TBS that we had two hours of ‘Dynamite,’ and that has been even stronger since it went to TBS, and that they gave us another show with ‘Rampage’ on TNT. That gave us more opportunities to showcase talent. And that has also gone very well. And we’ve consistently been one of the strongest shows in our time slot, sometimes the strongest show in our time slot, and it bodes really well for us. I think that could mean more opportunities in the future for the roster we have. “

Khan was, of course, asked about the departures of Cody and Brandy Rhodes.

“It was very sad to see Cody and Brandi leave AEW,” Khan said. “I’ve gotten asked about it a number of times, and I haven’t said much but what I do have to say is positive, and I really appreciate both of them and what they did for us as we got started and through the growth of the company and you know, wishing them the best.”

“I don’t want to get too deep into it, because a lot of this is personal between me and him, but I tried to reach a longer agreement with him beyond what we had for the option years,” Khan said. “It sounded like at one point, I think that we were going to, honestly, and when we couldn’t settle on it, the last thing I want to do is keep somebody here that isn’t going to want to be here. So, it didn’t look like we were going to get a longer deal done. And I would have loved to have done it. And I have a lot of respect for him. But when we didn’t come to terms on that, you know, it made it pretty clear where we were going to end up on things. And that being said, you know, I said nothing but respectful stuff about Cody, and I’ll continue to.”

Interesting answer here to a question on the possible addition of trios tag titles.

“We have a lot of great trios here. I am very interested in it,” Khan said. “I’ll be 100 percent honest with you. This is the most blunt answer I could give. I’m much more receptive to doing it when Kenny Omega is back. Because I think that is going to happen. And when Kenny Omega is back, I think the trios division is that much stronger. We could do a great tournament now and have a great trios division, but I think he would make it that much stronger. And I have so much respect for him. And I think he was such a great world champion for us. And I think we could have by far the best trios division, anybody could put together with how strong our roster is, and how many trios are already together and have experience working together. And I would love for Kenny Omega to be a part of it.”

Story by Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris has won 17 Virginia Press Association awards for his work as an investigative reporter, feature writer and columnist. Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, both published in 2019, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to my YouTube page, Want to reach Chris? Try [email protected].