Reports of WWE tries to contact AEW stars under contract and get them to try to leave the promotion in order to return to WWE appeared last August, prompting some public comments from AEW owner Tony Khan. The latest came this week when Khan was on Radio Row for Super Bowl LVII speak with Dan Le Batard. After declining to comment on WWE’s reported internal turmoil, he addressed the alleged tampering.
“I can only speak about the challenges we’ve had and a lot of wrestlers have come to me and alleged that WWE contacted them to alter their contracts and ask them to break their contracts,” Khan said (h/t POST Wrestling). “I can’t confirm that specifically. I can only tell you what wrestlers have come to me and said. But several wrestlers and staff have reported this to me. It was very upsetting and I have had to go out there and try to put on some good shows despite this alleged tampering and stuff like that. But frankly I don’t think that’s stopped us because the quality of the product and the quality of the shows are at an all time high Right now. “
Khan also discussed AEW’s struggle with WWE in the pro wrestling free agency market over talent – “…I know it’s a real war between AEW and WWE and the fans are getting into it. interest and that was part of the original business model of AEW I knew wrestling fans, frankly, are very interested in freestyle wrestling and wrestling wars and I think we could create a free agent market that’s definitely a real thing now and that would be a big part of the story I think wrestling fans, at the end of the day a lot of what happens on wrestling shows sometimes is story and that’s why people love to watch the shows. They love stories and exciting matches and most importantly, the combination of the two when stories lead to exciting matches and vice versa. Now what’s interesting is the most real story, the most intense and hateful in all of pro wrestling is the one between the two wrestling promotions. I think we really, really hate each other and I think that makes for really exciting TV and it makes for an exciting wrestling war.”
AEW returns to pay-per-view on March 5 in San Francisco with the AEW Revolution event. Stay tuned for full coverage of the event!