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AEW President Tony Khan Reflects on Three Years of ‘Dynamite’

The company will celebrate the third anniversary of its flagship television show this week with an episode that Khan has high hopes for.’s Week in Wrestling is published every week and provides beneath-the-surface coverage of the business of pro wrestling.

Tony Khan: “I don’t want to tip my hand too much to what I have planned, but it’s going to be a great week for us”

AEW will celebrate the third anniversary of Dynamite this week. The company has served as an excellent platform to build new stars in the industry, and that proliferation of talent would not have been possible without its weekly flagship show.

Over the past three years, AEW has brought new life to the industry. There would be no Acclaimed without AEW—nor would we have witnessed a Cody Rhodes revival, a CM Punk return or the departure of Kenny Omega from New Japan Pro-Wrestling and his ensuing arrival to the United States. All of that was captured on a weekly basis on Dynamite, and reaching the three-year mark for the show is a source of pride for company founder Tony Khan.

“One of the best elements of AEW is we’ve been able to put more outstanding wrestling on TV and create a new group of stars,” Khan says. “Whether AEW was created or not, a lot of these people would have still found a way to become stars, but AEW has created a place to reach that stardom—and a place for fans around the globe to embrace the best wrestling in the world.”

The brilliance of MJF has also served as a hallmark for AEW, providing countless must-see moments on Dynamite. He will be in action this week against Wheeler Yuta, a feud that extends back to their time together on the independent circuit. Wrestling icon Bryan Danielson is also on the card, teaming with Daniel Garcia against Chris Jericho and Sammy Guevara. It is impossible to retell the story of AEW’s launch without including the magnificent work of Jericho, who has carried the company atop his shoulders on multiple occasions over the past three years.

“Jericho is one of the reasons the launch of AEW was so successful,” Khan says. “And the 2022 version of Jericho is incredible. He’s lost 31 pounds, putting himself in even better shape, and he hasn’t lost an ounce of his charisma. He’s had some of his best matches this year, including Eddie Kingston at Revolution, vs. Jon Moxley at Quake by the Lake, and the two matches against Bryan Danielson at All Out and on Dynamite were excellent. His match last week against Bandido was outstanding, too. AEW wouldn’t be AEW without Chris Jericho, and he’s been paramount to our success this year, too.”

Jericho is always one step ahead in his creative manner of storytelling, and it is fascinating to listen to him proclaim himself as the world’s greatest sports entertainer while watching him put forth legitimately compelling matches in the ring.

Khan believes Jericho is a great representative for Ring of Honor as its world champion, especially as the potential still exists for that brand to acquire its own television slot.

“Chris is the new Ring of Honor champion, and it will be very interesting to see Chris put his own stamp on that championship,” Khan says. “Warner Bros. Discovery wants to continue on with Ring of Honor pay-per-views, and the success of our Ring of Honor pay-per-views bodes well for a chance at a weekly show.”

Bandido throws Chris Jericho with a German suplex

Jericho has also served as a strong voice among the talent in the AEW locker room, especially recently during the suspensions of CM Punk and three of AEW’s executive vice presidents, Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson).

When asked about the status of those suspensions, Khan did not offer any additional information.

“I can’t comment on that,” says Khan, who did note that AEW will continue to hold media scrums after pay-per-views. Khan did, however, provide a brief update on a potential future streaming service for AEW, which is a major priority for the company.

“As the library continues to grow, we’re only building a stronger and stronger addition to our content,” Khan says. “We’re working on doing it in a way that makes sense.”

The future of AEW is directly linked to Warner Bros. Discovery, which airs Dynamite on TBS and Rampage on TNT. Khan is optimistic that their partnership will extend well beyond when the current deal expires in December 2023.

“It’s been good for AEW to have a presence on TBS and TNT,” Khan says. “The new management at Warner Bros. Discovery has given us great opportunities and shown a lot of confidence in us.

“We’re celebrating the three-year launch of Dynamite with an extra 15 minutes of live Dynamite, another great sign that Warner Bros. Discovery is behind us. Rampage is two live hours this Friday night, which is also really exciting. It’s been a great year for us, and we’re looking forward to continuing to grow together.”

Those familiar with the AEW product are quite familiar with Khan’s penchant for surprises. Considering Wednesday night is the celebration of the launch of Dynamite, it is fair to imagine that Khan will deliver a phenomenal night of wrestling.

“I don’t want to tip my hand too much to what we have planned, but it’s going to be a great week for us,” Khan says. “We have four hours and 15 minutes of live television, and it’s going to be a great opportunity for us to show why this is the best wrestling in the world.”

The (online) week in wrestling

  • RIP to the legendary Antonio Inoki, who died last week at the age of 79.
  • New Japan’s two-night Royal Quest show in London ended with the great Tetsuya Naito defeating Zack Sabre Jr., a matchup I’ll never tire of watching. It was also another banner moment for FTR, who headlined the first night with a successful IWGP tag title defense against Aussie Open in the main event.
  • Saraya’s first big promo in AEW was a miss, but don’t write her off just yet. She is still a great addition.
  • Bryan Danielson can headline WrestleMania or open a weekly show, and the result of both is magic. That was on display last week in his Dynamite opener against Jericho Appreciation Society’s Matt Menard.
  • Stardom ran its 5 Star Grand Prix last weekend, which ended with Giulia victorious in the tourney final against Tam Nakano.
  • Impact Wrestling will run its Bound for Glory pay-per-view this week. Is it time to take the belt off Josh Alexander? It feels like it’s time for a heel to carry the belt, whether that be Eddie Edwards or whoever emerges from the Gauntlet match.

UFC legend Daniel Cormier coming to WWE’s Extreme Rules to oversee Seth Rollins–Matt Riddle encounter

Daniel Cormier is finally coming to WWE.

The UFC Hall of Famer—and longtime WWE fan—will serve as the special guest referee during the Fight Pit match pitting Seth Rollins against Matt Riddle on Saturday at Extreme Rules. It is a perfect way to introduce Cormier into WWE, and while it is far from identical to Ken Shamrock’s introduction to the company at WrestleMania 13 in 1997, it certainly shares some parallels.

An MMA pioneer, Shamrock served as the special guest ref for the submission match between Bret Hart and Steve Austin. That still stands as one of the greatest displays of pro wrestling in the history of the industry, and Shamrock enhanced the moment by adding further legitimacy to the bout. Cormier is similar in that his combat credentials are legendary, and his inclusion adds another layer to the Rollins-Riddle feud.

Cormier’s appreciation for pro wrestling is genuine. If he executed properly, this Saturday could help generate interest for further appearances. Rollins’s skill set makes him perfectly equipped to wrestle a one-off against Cormier. I’m not sure there would be a global appeal for a Cormier program with Brock Lesnar, but the potential exists for him to team up with Lesnar against The Bloodline. And he would make a perfect addition to the Royal Rumble match in January, which he mentioned in this very column five years ago.

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Justin Barrasso can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @JustinBarrasso.