A backup song was in place, but Tony Khan paid extra for the licensed music.
For RVD’s stint with the company, he used Pantera’s ‘Walk’ as his theme song. AEW President Tony Khan told the Battleground Podcast that he had a backup song in place for Van Dam, but it wouldn’t have been the same and that’s why he paid extra for ‘Walk’.
He added that he pays for the licensed music in perpetuity. Khan reiterated that he hopes AEW content will be available on the Max streaming service with the licensed music still attached to the content.
We did have a backup (song for RVD’s AEW stint) but it wouldn’t have been the same and that’s why I wanted to pay the extra and go the extra mile and get ‘Walk’ by Pantera. Pantera was great and worked with us and we worked out a reasonable deal. I compare music licenses in wrestling to trades in pro sports. It’s like, you can do your best but, every trade is its own transaction. It has to be between at least two willing parties. It can’t just be one willing party in a trade and I think that’s very similar with music rights in wrestling. You have to reach a deal that’s fair for everybody and sometimes the value is in the eye of the beholder and sometimes people ask for money that I don’t think is reasonable. Other times, we’ve gotten deals that I thought were very fair. But we do use a lot of licensed music and in perpetuity. So someday when the AEW streaming library becomes available per our exclusive rights with Warner Bros. Discovery, the great company we’re very fortunate to team with, I am optimistic someday all of this will live on Max hopefully and every great moment where we’ve licensed music, we still have that music. I paid for the rights in perpetuity. So whether it was something incredibly moving and memorable like when we used Tom Waits’ Ol’ ’55 for the tribute video to the late, great Mr. Brodie Lee or like you said, something fun with the great entrance, RVD-Pantera. Other great moments like Bryan Danielson and The Final Countdown at Forbidden Door and so many other of the great things we’ve done over the years.
If the quote in this article is used, please credit the Battleground Podcast with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcription.