WWE News: AEW Founder Tony Khan Calls Out Top Superstar After Throwing Shade At Company

AEW founder Tony Khan poses for a photo during a TNT/TBS media event.
Emma McIntyre / Getty Images

Tony Khan engaged in a brief war of words with 13-time former world champion Randy Orton on Monday, one which ended with the businessman calling out “The Viper” for a pair of controversies he dealt with in previous weeks. This came shortly after the All Elite Wrestling founder took to Twitter to reply to CM Punk’s tease for this week’s episode of WWE Backstage on Fox Sports 1, seemingly poking fun at his rival company’s recent issues.

As recalled by WrestlingNews.co, the issue started on Monday afternoon when Punk announced on Twitter that he would be talking about Khan and WWE owner Vince McMahon on the next episode of Backstage, further teasing that “no one is safe” and tagging both businessmen in the post. This prompted a reply from Khan, who joked about the flight delays many WWE employees experienced after the Crown Jewel pay-per-view in Saudi Arabia.

“No one is safe? Sounds like a plane full of wrestlers in Saudi Arabia!”

Soon after that post, Orton shared a reply in WWE’s defense, one that referenced the old proverb about how people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. The post also linked to an article about the corruption allegations that surrounded Khan’s father, Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan, late last year as he attempted to buy Wembley Stadium in England.

In response, the younger Khan mentioned a few controversies Orton had recently dealt with, including his multiple teases of moving to AEW while working on a new contract with WWE, as well as the time when he was caught using a racial slur while streaming a video game session on Twitch.

As noted by WrestlingNews.co, Khan’s remarks seemed to back up the widespread speculation that Orton was only putting AEW over in his social media posts — including an Instagram photo where he stood next to a sign that read “Elite Level” — so that he could get a higher-paying contract from WWE.

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“I thought you only tagged me in your posts when you were grasping for leverage. That article’s over a year old + is about baseless claims made about my dad years ago,” Khan tweeted.

“That’s the best you can do, nothing. Meanwhile in the time since that was written, you used the N word on twitch.”

As of this writing, neither Khan nor Orton has posted anything to continue the heated exchange. Likewise, Punk has yet to issue any public comment on the matter, may it be about Khan’s joke about Crown Jewel or the AEW founder’s argument with Orton.