Tony Khan Addresses ‘Not Ideal’ Tensions In AEW Locker Room

It has been nearly a year since CM Punk’s infamous AEW All Out media scrum, and the wound his scathing comments left behind does not appear to have healed. Sitting alongside AEW President Tony Khan, Punk, eating Mindy’s Bakery muffins and sipping on lime Spindrift, laid into what he viewed as misguided internal politics and a lack of managerial guidance within the company. His criticisms were largely leveled in the direction of The Elite, and following the scrum, an altercation broke out in the locker room.

Everyone involved in the altercation was initially removed from AEW TV and stripped of their titles, but have all since returned. The Elite continue to do things their way on Wednesday nights, and The Second City Saint has been given Saturday night’s Collision to find his own footing. While both sides have shared some space in recent months, a conversation to put issues behind them does not look to have taken place.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Khan addressed how he manages those tensions in the AEW locker room.

“The most important thing to me as the CEO is the wrestling fans,” he began. “I’m a huge wrestling fan, and I try to think like a wrestling fan. I want the best wrestlers here in AEW. I want the best roster. And there may be some of them that don’t get along with each other backstage or on TV. It’s not ideal, but it’s a reality, and I can’t make everyone get along. I’m not sure it’s necessarily even in the best interest of pro wrestling for everybody t get along.

“But ideally, everybody is going to be able to focus on their matches and putting on the best shows for the fans. And I think that’s what we’ve been doing. We’ve had really strong ratings. So even though … wrestlers backstage hate each other and don’t want to be friends with each other, I think we all agree this is a really exciting time for the company. And it’s a really exciting time for the wrestling business and for the wrestling fans.

“There are a lot of people around here who think they’re the best, and I think a lot of them have a valid claim that they’re the best, and what I’m trying to do is to create an environment where everybody can go out and prove it multiple times per week and create a platform where the fans can decide who the best wrestlers are, what the best rivalries are, what the best matches are. As long as I can keep the top talent in AEW, we will have the best matches and the best big events.

“The lineup of wrestlers competing on AEW All In is the strongest group of talent we’ve ever assembled on one show. It features some of the biggest matches in the history of this company, and I think it’s going to be one of the greatest days ever in pro wrestling this Sunday.”

The full audio from Tony Khan’s AEW All In London media call is now available on the Haus of Wrestling YouTube channel.