Tony Khan on Airing 'All In' Backstage Footage on Dynamite

“This is real-life footage that affected many people, and it will air for the first time on TBS during Dynamite.”

Tomorrow on Dynamite, there will be a segment where the Young Bucks present backstage footage from All In, which took place last summer at Wembley Stadium.

The backstage footage in question likely refers to an altercation between CM Punk and Jack Perry. Since that night at Wembley on August 27, neither Punk or Perry have wrestled in an AEW ring.

Punk was fired days later and ultimately returned to WWE, while Perry was sent home and reappeared months later at a New Japan Pro-Wrestling show in January. Since then, Perry has wrestled exclusively for NJPW, where he had a very impressive showing in the New Japan Cup. He wrestles his first match back in the U.S. at NJPW’s Windy City Riot pay-per-view in Chicago against Shota Umino this Friday.

Jack Perry
Jack Perry / AEW

Speaking with Sports Illustrated, AEW owner Tony Khan confirmed this is not a bait-and-switch. The Bucks’ Matt and Nick Jackson, who star in the AEW tag division and work for the company as EVPs, are going to show the backstage footage on Dynamite and discuss it on the air for the very first time.

“AEW has a great track record on delivering what we advertise, and it is real footage,” said Khan, who remained guarded over the specific content that will air from All In. “The Young Bucks will show backstage footage from All In, the most important event in AEW history–the world record-holder for the most tickets ever sold for any wrestling record, 81,035 total–and it was an important night backstage, as well.”

Though the incident unfolded eight months ago, it is suddenly relevant again after Punk shared his side of the story last week on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Hour. Despite speculation that Khan would air the footage as the result of a grudge against Punk, he noted that his motivation is storyline-driven.

“The decision is based on putting on the best show for AEW, as well as driving interest for Dynamite and our Dynasty pay-per-view on April 21,” said Khan. “This is real-life footage that affected many people, and it will air for the first time on TBS during Dynamite.”

More questions than answers exist surrounding the footage. Is airing it the right choice? Will it contradict some of the comments Punk made on Helwani’s show? And exactly which backstage content will air?

There are few certainties in this scenario, especially for those of us who have yet to see the footage. But there is no denying that Punk now works for another company, and he will not be returning to pay-off any program that is beginning–or being extended–on Dynamite.

In terms of extending a feud, perhaps that is the key to the footage. The Bucks are wrestling FTR at Dynasty in a match that will crown the new AEW tag team champions. That became official on Collision this past Saturday, when FTR advanced to the finals of the tournament for the vacant belts by defeating Top Flight’s Dante and Darius Martin. The Bucks already punched their ticket to the finals last Wednesday on Dynamite, when they beat the Best Friends’ Orange Cassidy and Trent Beretta.

The Young Bucks and FTR
The Young Bucks and FTR / Courtesy AEW

The possibility exists that this footage is a chance to build up the FTR-Bucks match, which will be the fourth meeting in their renowned feud, as well as potentially reintroduce Perry to AEW as part of The Elite.

“The Young Bucks are wrestling for the world tag team championship at AEW Dynasty against longtime rivals FTR,” said Khan. “Their rivalry is one of the most significant ever in AEW, and there is a good reason why the Young Bucks are showing this video.”

The last time FTR and the Bucks wrestled, it was at Wembley shortly after the backstage scuffle. FTR’s Dax Harwood and Cash Wheeler comprise arguably the best tag team in the world, technicians that are versatile, agile, and incredibly skilled professional wrestlers. They are exceptional whenever they step between the ropes, especially when paired against the Bucks, as their contrasting styles produce magic in the ring.

Harwood and Wheeler were also on-screen partners of Punk in AEW, and the three are real-life friends. It is a risk, but if the footage on Dynamite is relevant to advancing the story between the Bucks and FTR, then there is a scenario where playing off the reality of the situation at Wembley could be a definitive positive for AEW.

“It’s important that the Young Bucks explain the reason why this is relevant going into Dynasty,” said Khan. “It should be another must-see part of a great show on Dynamite.”


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Justin Barrasso

JUSTIN BARRASSO

Justin Barrasso has been writing for Sports Illustrated since 2014. While his primary focus is pro wrestling and MMA, he has also covered MLB, NBA, and the NFL. He can be reached at JBarrasso@gmail.com and followed on Twitter @JustinBarrasso.