Tony Khan: ‘The House Always Wins’ Is A Good Chance To Experiment With Live Events, Not A Reaction To WWE In Tampa
Photo Credit: Bill Pritchard
AEW is running their first-ever non-televised event this week, but Tony Khan says it’s nothing more than a chance to see if live events could work, and to give their local fans a show to look forward to.
“It’s great for us that we have a really good Dynamite card this week and a great crowd coming, and we have a big crowd for Dynamite that we expected this week. We thought it would be a great week that we’ve got the ring set up. We’ve got a great crew in town in Jacksonville, and we have the ring, the stage, and Daily’s Place all set up for a wrestling show. Friday night is a great night for the fans, and it felt like it would be a good opportunity to experiment with putting on a great card for the live fans and doing something for the people in Jacksonville. I must stress how important the fans in Jacksonville have been.”
“They’ve helped AEW. They’ve helped the wrestlers and the matches. They’ve helped our shows, but they’ve also helped fans around the world enjoy the show. There have been a lot of moments in AEW where the live crowd in the past year made a huge difference. I think probably the most important was the Brodie Lee Memorial show. I think when Darby (Allin) won the TNT title and the Young Bucks winning the tag team titles for the first time at Full Gear. The live crowd, those moments were a huge part of it. The pops were real and great when Sting debuted at Winter is Coming. A huge pop there. The reaction was a different reaction when Kenny Omega won the title from Mox (Jon Moxley). They’re just a lot of moments where the fans and their reactions have been a very important part of it, and it wouldn’t have been the same without them.”
When asked about the criticism of running a show just hours away from WWE on WrestleMania weekend in Tampa, Tony Khan dismissed those claims and said it’s not the case.
“I’m running a show because my competition is running? I’m running a show in my own building at home that I don’t have to change out a single set piece for. I’ve already got the ring set up there, and the wrestlers are already in town. I already paid for their travel into Jacksonville, so I’ve got a crew of wrestlers in Jacksonville, Florida, in my own building, in my own ring. (Laughs) It’s like, I traveled and put the show on somebody else’s lawn. I’m just doing a show in my own building. If anybody’s around Jacksonville or in the area would like to come, I think they’re more than welcome. But it’s a show in Jacksonville. It’s not a show anywhere else in Florida.”
Tony Khan went on to add that it’s a “big-time stretch” to say that the show was announced in an effort to get people to drive three hours to get there. He says if people still want to do so, that’s great, but it seemed like a good weekend to host an event and try and take care of the local fans.