AEW’s Vice President of Live Events and Touring touches on a variety of topics.
Joining Chris Jericho to record an episode of his Talk Is Jericho podcast was Rafael Morffi, Vice President of Live Events and Touring at All Elite Wrestling.
As the conversation rolled on and Morffi went over some of the backstage personnel and different departments within AEW, he confirmed that former WWE Vice President of Communications, Adam Hopkins, has joined AEW. In early April, PWInsider was first to report that Hopkins joined the company. He had been with WWE for over 25 years.
We have a great asset coming here too from WWE, he was there forever, Adam Hopkins. I look forward to working with Adam in terms of getting the local word out in these markets.
AEW is scheduled to tour Canada over the summer and they’ll be hosting the second installment of AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door at the Scotiabank Arena in Toronto.
Rafael discussed AEW’s debut in Canada in the fall of 2022 and said TSN put the pressure on them to come to the country. They ran Coca-Cola Coliseum which seats close to 8,000 people but Morffi believes that was done so the venue management company could see the demand for AEW’s product before giving them a bigger venue.
This summer, we’ll be in Canada. Love to be in Quebec and Ottawa soon too.
Same company, Maple Leaf Sports Entertainment runs the Coca-Cola Coliseum where we were and Scotiabank Arena. We needed to have a commitment to TSN, our great partner in Canada who was really, really pressuring us to come to Canada to have a show and in terms of avails, I think WWE had a show at Scotia in August and there’s some exclusivity windows that they have, we have… And we have to adhere to them and so do venues. So, we wanted to accommodate our rights holder in TSN to be there before the year ended and quite frankly, the only venue in Toronto that they could give us in Toronto was Coca-Cola Coliseum so instead of going for a one-night show we usually do every Wednesday, we did two nights, Wednesday, Thursday. Place holds 8,000. We sold out both which was great. But, they told us, ‘We’ll do this but, we’ll give you the opportunity to play the big room when it fits.’ Candidly, I think they wanted to see what our product can do there and we knew, you (Chris Jericho) knew. You and I were joking that we’d probably had sold 30,000 the first show that we had there. But, it’s good to have venue management companies believe in you and they all do.
When Jericho and Morffi began to dive into how he got started with AEW, Morffi stated that it was his initial contact with Cody Rhodes that got the ball rolling.
I was contacted by someone who helped me out tremendously here too in the onset was Cody. Working very closely with Cody, with Cody Rhodes. He reached out to me. They wanted someone. It was time to go in terms of booking venues, running the events, selling tickets. So Cody reached out to me and I met Cody, Matt and Nick (Jackson), The Bucks couple weeks prior to our opening press conference that we did by the pool, and we hit it off. I did a presentation to The Bucks and to Cody and then Tony (Khan) became involved. Keith Mitchell was a big help too and Jim (Ross) and Barry (Bloom) so it was a perfect storm happening at that time and Tony believed in me and then my first show was the first show we had, Double or Nothing.
This week, AEW is going to be in Las Vegas, Nevada ahead of their Double or Nothing pay-per-view on Sunday, May 28th.
If the quotes in this article are used, please credit Talk Is Jericho with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.