At the AEW All In press conference, Tony Khan said that pay-per-view buys would be one of the largest numbers the company has done. He also announced a new pay-per-view, addressed streaming opportunities and confirmed that All In and All Out would remain just one week apart in 2024. Read on for more detail.
Tony Khan’s opening remarks
Khan began the press conference solo, addressing how London was a “home” to him due to his links with Fulham FC.
He also spoke about the Jacksonville Jaguars regularly playing international NFL games in London, before mentioning Saturday’s racist murders in Jacksonville, calling them “senseless” and saying, “There’s no place for that in this world.”
Khan then confirmed the reports of an altercation between Jack Perry and CM Punk. He said:
I can’t comment on it at this time beyond what I’m about to say. Yes, there was an incident backstage before we went live on tonight’s show. We are investigating it. Until I learn more about what happened, I can’t really address it at this time, so I can’t comment, but I did want to be honest with you and tell you that is the case.
He then turned to the success of the event and the paid attendance figure of 81,035. He said this was the largest paid attendance in pro wrestling history. Khan added that the full number of people inside the stadium was around 90,000 with comps, staff, hospitality, etc.
MJF and Adam Cole
MJF came out first and launched straight into a promo that seemed 50% in character and 50% genuine.
Seemingly addressing the Punk/Perry controversy, he said:
Sometimes we don’t get along. News flash. I’m sure you mother–kers got people at work, you want to f–king headbutt in the mouth. But the fact of the matter is, yeah, we are misfits, but guess what? We come together and we put on the best f–king professional wrestling shows this world has ever f–king seen. And I put my f–king name on that. You wanna know why I put my name on that? Because I’m ready to step the f–k up. I’m ready to be the face of this company. I’m ready to be the face of the mayhem of the misfits.
Khan recalled that it was in England that he saw MJF wrestle for the first time. MJF admitted that he had “no business” being on the first All In in 2018 and said “Cody did me a solid.”
Adam Cole then came out. He was asked whether his journey from doubts about whether he’d wrestle again to a show of this magnitude had sunk in. He said:
12 months ago, there was legitimate fear that I was maybe never going to get to wrestle again. So at one point, I was just excited at the idea of being able to come out and like cut a promo or do an interview or maybe have a couple of matches.
So to fast forward and then be in this main event with MJF for the AEW World Championship in like this record-breaking crowd. It’s unbelievable. I will never ever forget this night. I’ve never taken pro wrestling for granted. It’s always something I’ve loved and cherished. But there’s this deep-rooted feeling of satisfaction that I have right now, of being able to have done that. And I will never, ever forget this night. I think it’s the happiest I’ve ever been, after a match.
Cassidy himself stayed in character and said very little, with Khan answering most of the questions. At one point, Stephanie Chase of Digital Spy asked Cassidy if he had any hopes to tour with the International Championship. Khan “answered” by saying a few words about AEW having been in Canada before segueing into a promotion of the AEW video game and its new modes.
Later, Penta El Zero Miedo came out and was announced as Cassidy’s title opponent for AEW Dynamite on Wednesday, 30th September. If Cassidy retains, he will face Jon Moxley at All Out for the title.
I Have pinned Wheeler Yuta twice and now. Tonight I have pinned Claudio Castagnoli, There’s one more person that I want to pin, there’s one more person that I want to beat: Jon Moxley.
Don Callis and Konosuke Takeshita
Callis was asked whether it was true that he had called Will Ospreay a few years back and advised him to change his style or he might not wrestle into his 30s.
I think I’m not the only one who gave Will that advice. A former friend of mine mentioned just this past week that he had told him that too. I mean, I may have multiple degrees, but I don’t think I needed any of them to have told Will that at one point.
Callis then put over Konosuke Takeshita very strongly as a former Olympic-level decathlete and someone who had been around pro wrestling from the age of 10. He said Takeshita may be the “new god of professional wrestling.”
He asked Khan to book Takeshita vs. Kenny Omega for All Out.
Khan did not immediately respond but this certainly seems to be the direction for next week’s PPV.
Saraya was asked straight away about her journey from being cleared to wrestling on such a grand stage and winning the AEW Women’s World Championship.
You have no idea how much he’s [Tony Khan] helped me in my comeback and just believing in me and being like, “Listen, we’re gonna go look at your neck and we’re gonna see it and if it’s 100%, then I’m backing you 100%.” It was just wonderful.
I never thought I was ever gonna wrestle again. That was it. “You will never wrestle again.” WWE cut ties with any kind of doctors and was like, “We’re not gonna check you anymore.” So I was kind of in limbo for five years.
No pun intended for the wrestling fans in here, but I never like hit rock bottom with it. I kept in a very positive mindset. When I got the call from Tony, he was just like, “Let’s f–king go. Let’s try this”.
It’s just been a crazy journey. I never thought I’d be here. I never thought I would be in Wembley Stadium in the biggest crowd in wrestling history. I mean, it’s just a dream come true. And I’m so thankful.
She spoke about how special it was to have her family be such a big part of the night, and added that her dad, who is “not a crier,” was crying his eyes out in the ring.
Asked about the presence of Mercedes Moné, Tony Khan said:
A lot of potential things could happen there, and I know New Japan Pro Wrestling has had great experiences working with her. I thought it would be great, given that she’s not cleared but wanted to take in the biggest paid pro wrestling crowd of all time and see what AEW is all about.
I thought it would be good for her to be here but obviously she’s not wrestling or cleared or doing anything anytime soon.
I saw her and I was like, “Okay, so she’s gonna be watching. That’s great.” We already have history so I wanted to win the championship in front of her, honestly. I know if she was to ever come in she’s gonna try and get this so I say absolutely bring it on. Mercedes, if you’re watching this, we can’t wait for you to finally join us.
Tony Khan solo
On the closeness on the calendar of All In and All Out:
I’ve tried to build traditions. And we have something really special that we did tonight, and that’s why this same bank holiday weekend, I want people to know, bank holiday weekend Sunday, Wembley, that’s a tradition.
In America, a three-day weekend, Labor Day weekend, they have the bank holiday in America next weekend. It’s a very unique opportunity as a live event. I don’t want to give up that real estate. Now that we’ve built this here, I don’t want to give it up, and I want to keep it going, and I believe we can do it again.
We’ve had a great tradition of live events in Chicago over Labor Day weekend, and I want keep that going forever too. They’re both really important dates on the calendar. It creates a unique opportunity to capture buzz around AEW. This is the first time we’ve done it, but it is something I plan to do in the future.
So next year All In will be on the bank holiday weekend, August 25, 2024. And yes, I am planning to run in Chicago on Labor Day weekend.
On forced changes to the card:
I would have loved to have had PAC as a part of it and I would have loved to have had Jamie Hayter as a part of it. Two of the top homegrown British stars in AEW. They were a big part of my original plans for this show, absolutely.
Also, Brian Danielson, the American Dragon, one of the greatest wrestlers of all time. I would love to have had him, but I think the show was so amazing and that’s what’s great about having a great team is even when there’s injuries in sports, people step up and we saw that, whether it was changing the Stadium Stampede or Christian Cage stepping into the great coffin match, or a lot of the other changes we made along the way.
On UK television ratings:
I haven’t said these numbers out loud anywhere, but this month Rampage is up 97% in the UK, year over year, on ITV. On ITV 1, it is up 97% year over year. That is tremendous. I’ll have more numbers to come out later this week, but we’re having an amazing year on ITV. This week’s Rampage, was actually the highest-rated episode of the entire year on ITV. Our reach is up huge.
On the future of AEW pay-per-views and the possibility of a deal with a streaming partner:
There are multiple different models for a company to deliver their pay-per-view events or their premium live events or whatever you want to call them through a streaming network.
We’ve been talking a lot and having great conversations with the top executives at Warner Bros. Discovery. There’s been a lot of interest since the merger in AEW. When the top Discovery executives came in as our new bosses it was a really exciting day and they’ve paid more attention to AEW than we have seen really since the very first year.
I’ve had a lot of great conversations with the people at Max about what we can do in the future, not only for the home of these top AEW events, shows like All In, the biggest night in the history of pro wrestling, and our shows we’ve been doing for years, like All Out and Double or Nothing, Full Gear, Revolution, and now Forbidden Door.
On the announcement of Wrestle Dream and confirmation of the date for Full Gear:
Khan announced the “first ever” Wrestle Dream, a show dedicated to the memory of Antonio Inoki. It will take place in Seattle on October 1st, the anniversary of Inoki’s passing.
He also confirmed the date and venue of Full Gear 2023 as The Forum in Los Angeles on Saturday, November 18th.
On pay-per-view buys for All In:
Pay-per-view is tremendous. It’s gonna be our biggest pay-per-view in well over a year and one of our biggest of all time. It’s up there with our biggest pay-per-views and that’s really exciting.