Shad Khan isn’t the public face of All Elite Wrestling, but he put forth the funds to start the company in the first place. The Jacksonville Jaguars owner has allowed his son, Tony Khan, to run the day-to-day operations of the company, and he believes that he’s off to a strong start.
As quoted by Wrestling Inc., the billionaire recently joined Yahoo! Finance’s All Markets Summit: Generational Opportunities to speak about the company and how it came to fruition.
“[Tony] kept talking about it, that we ought to do it, and here are the reasons why we should do it. I kept stress testing the idea, and then I struck a check to fund it because if you’re going to do it, it’s gotta be right.”
The company has been very successful thus far. As reported by Deadline, the debut episode of weekly show Dynamite was TNT’s most-watched premiere in five years. The second episode, meanwhile, still managed to draw over 1 million viewers.
Both shows have also beaten WWE’s NXT — which airs at the same time on the USA Network — in the live ratings war, but Khan insists that AEW isn’t focusing on Vince McMahon’s company.
“[W]e’re tapping into fans who were not engaged and quite frankly the younger fan who never got quite into it. Competition is good for everybody, but it’s very important for AEW to do our own thing.”
Khan’s views seemed to be aligned with Triple H’s in regards to the perceived competition between both shows. Last month, The Inquisitr reported how “The Game” opened up about the arrival of AEW on Wednesday nights, while revealing that the black-and-gold brand is focusing on its own product.
At the same time, a statement released by WWE following Dynamite‘s premiere suggests otherwise. As documented by Pro Wrestling Illustrated via Twitter, WWE congratulated AEW on its first show, while also taking a moment to remind the upstart company that real success is a “marathon.”
Only time will tell if AEW and WWE are out to defeat each other. In the past, the latter company has shown that it doesn’t appreciate other promotions affecting its business interests, and with AEW pulling in viewers by the millions, McMahon and co. will be monitoring the situation.
For wrestling fans, however, being able to choose between two successful mainstream wrestling companies with weekly shows to watch is a dream come true. To them, the industry hasn’t been this exciting since WCW closed in 2001.