It seems like it has been just a few months since The Biggest Moments of 2021 aired, and the show is already being talked about as one of the greatest episodes in Impact history. In this article for NoDQ magazine, Tony Khan reflects on his personal favorite moments from that episode.
The “tony khan net worth” is a reflection on the biggest moments of 2021 by Tony Khan, the co-founder and CEO of AEW.
In 2021, Tony Khan has big ambitions for All Elite Wrestling. But the year turned out to be far greater than he had anticipated. On the business side, the young organization debuted AEW Rampage, returned to touring after spending 16 months in Jacksonville’s Daily’s Place due to the Covid-19 outbreak, announced AEW Dynamite’s relocation to TBS, and signed some of the industry’s greatest free players. Meanwhile, Kenny Omega’s near-year-long AEW World Championship reign, major crossovers with other promotions, and the rise of homegrown talents like Hangman Page, Dr. Britt Baker, and AEW’s “Four Pillars” — MJF, Darby Allin, Sammy Guevara, and Jungle Boy — propelled the in-ring product to new heights.
Khan sat down for an interview with this week and began by reflecting on the events of 2021 — “At the start of the year, I had no clue what to anticipate. I knew we were planning to hit the road again later this year. And we had a strategy. That turned out to be a fantastic decision. We’ve been back on the road for six months, and getting back on the road and seeing the fans at live events was a huge goal for 2021. But one of the most important things I wanted to do was continue to expand our roster and make AEW not only the home of professional wrestling, but the home of the best roster in the world. And I think we now have the finest roster of any firm on the globe.”
(Photo courtesy of AEW)
Hangman Page, maybe more than any other native AEW talent, had a breakout year in 2021. At AEW’s inaugural rally in early 2019, the former Ring of Honor midcarder boldly declared that he will be the company’s first global champion. He’d fail at the inaugural All Out event months later, but it put in motion a plot that would last as long as the organization, ending with Page winning the championship to a standing ovation at the Full Gear pay-per-view in 2021.
“I knew it would be a few years before Hangman became champion, but I always anticipated Hangman to win,” Khan added. “I always thought the first three champions would be (Chris) Jericho, (Jon) Moxley, and Omega. And I’ve always felt that all three of them would have outstanding leadership roles that would serve as pillars for the organization. That, I believe, came to life. They all did an outstanding job representing the firm. And every one of their reigns was crucial for the organization; they helped us get through a lot of performances, and they all had fantastic bouts.
“Jericho was our first champion, and he aided us in getting started. The corporation was then kept afloat by Moxley and Omega throughout the epidemic. And Hangman, whom I had selected as our future star, “Added he.
But every hero needs a villain, and Omega was the best at playing that role in 2021. In the last months of 2020, “The Cleaner” turned on Moxley by aligning himself with Don Callis and cheating to win the AEW World Championship. But as the face of AEW, the Canadian star didn’t just put on amazing bouts; he was also at the vanguard of the company’s crossovers with organizations like Impact Wrestling (where he won the world championship in April and held it until Rampage’s debut), Lucha Libre AAA, and New Japan.
Khan remarked, “He was such a fantastic world champion and was so terrific for AEW on and off-camera.” “He had some of the most incredible wrestling battles I’ve ever seen. When you consider his incredible match with Ray Fenix on Dynamite, his incredible three-way match with PAC and Orange Cassidy at Double or Nothing, his title defense against Jungle Boy on Dynamite, his great match with Christian on Rampage, and a great rematch at All Out, it’s easy to see why he’s the best in the business. This year, he was in several fantastic tag bouts. Of course, there’s (the) Hangman page at Full Gear, where Hangman was crowned champion. That’s only the start of Kenny’s outstanding performances this year. And no one could have done a greater job of representing the firm in major match after big match during this incredible year.”
Aside from the weekly AEW programming, the business was also smack in the thick of the pro wrestling industry’s greatest story – the free agency market. WWE chose to release more than 80 wrestlers throughout the year, having restructured its recruiting and developmental strategy with NXT 2.0 and undergoing waves of budget cuts, causing the independent wrestling scene (still recovering from COVID-19 shutting down live events across the country for roughly a year) to suddenly be flush with talent. Some of those departed stars were scooped up by AEW, while others publicly left WWE to join the upstart promotion’s roster.
“I believe our organizations have a lot of same interests (in terms of the sorts of wrestlers each promotion seeks),” Khan stated. “I know we’ve signed several fantastic wrestlers that were let go from WWE contracts, and I’m not sure why they were let go. But I’m certain that they’ve been invaluable to us. However, there were a handful of wrestlers who signed contracts that WWE wanted to retain, and they were bidding against us for their services. So they wanted to retain Bryan Danielson, who is now the No. 1 contender for the AEW World Championship, one of the most significant wrestlers in AEW, and perhaps our future champion. Bryan Danielson’s status as a free agent surprised me. I didn’t think we’d be in the running for him, but it shows how much the organization has progressed and how much we’ve evolved in recent years that a tremendous talent like Bryan Danielson would become available to us, for AEW. Not only that, but he would choose to come to AEW over remaining (in WWE) — despite the fact that he had a substantial offer to stay in WWE — and he made this decision.”
Adam Cole, Bobby Fish, and Kyle O’Reilly, the original three members of WWE’s Undisputed Era group, were among the key additions this year. On this week’s Dynamite, the trio will fight their first six-man tag match, and Khan revealed that he is proud of being able to sign three talents that were leading the charge for the opposition on Wednesday nights when Dynamite initially began in late 2019.
“I genuinely appreciate that,” Khan remarked. “It reminds me of when I play sports, such as football, when I play against an opponent who has amazing athletes. And if you could sign those guys that used to compete with you and cause you problems while you were game-planning, that would be fantastic. If these are the players you game-planned against and knew would be the most difficult opponents, then bringing them into your side is one of the finest moves you can do. I think it’s incredibly amazing to be able to add Adam Cole and Bobby Fish, and now Kyle O’Reilly making his AEW Dynamite debut this week. It’s more more meaningful to perform it at Daily’s Place, the home of AEW, where we’ve had so much experience competing against those guys (WWE). And having Adam Cole, Kyle O’Reilly, and Bobby Fish go up against Orange Cassidy and The Best Friends, one of our finest homegrown acts, is a huge thing here. It’s really significant, and it’s quite appropriate. I’m thrilled that JR (Jim Ross, who is returning to the broadcast booth after a fight with skin cancer) will be there to call that match. It should be fantastic.”
In terms of the future, AEW’s 2022 will have to improve significantly to beat 2021. Khan, on the other hand, has already devised a strategy.
“Hopefully, we’ll be able to travel for the whole year, spending 52 weeks in diverse, fantastic markets,” Khan remarked. “We were lucky to be able to perform the gigs at Daily’s Place for the first part of the year, but it wasn’t until the second half of the year that we went out on the road and met so many more fantastic people around the country.” As a result, Daily’s Place will always be in the mix. This week, we’ll be there, and we’ll be back shortly. But there will be plenty of fantastic sites to see along the way. And I believe Double or Nothing will be a terrific way to bring AEW back to the west coast this year. And some of the television in the vicinity. And I’m looking forward to expanding my market.
“This will also be the first year when we have a complete roster in place. At the end of 2021, a large number of people arrived to AEW “Added he. “CM Punk, Bryan Danielson, Ruby Soho, Adam Cole, and now Kyle O’Reilly are all huge stars. All of them, as well as others, will get the opportunity to wrestle in AEW for a whole year, which I believe will be really remarkable.”
Fans hoping for more crossovers will be pleased to learn that “The Forbidden Door” has announced that more are on the way.
“We’ve only just started to open the Forbidden Door, and I believe we can and will open it many more times,” Khan remarked.
On Wednesday night, TNT will play AEW Dynamite’s penultimate episode, New Year’s Smash, before kicking in 2021 with Dynamite’s debut TBS episode on Jan. 5 and the Battle of the Belts special on TNT on Jan. 8.
With our greatest @dailysplace tv audience yet and @JRsBBQ’s return, just 2 days till New Year’s Smash, the final #AEWDynamite ever on TNT; ideal to finish with our biggest @dailysplace tv crowd yet and @JRsBBQ’s return! When some of the greatest stars in wrestling make their first appearance at Daily’s Place, there will be GREAT wrestling + SURREAL moments. twitter.com/W5X6qGj0HU
December 27, 2021 — Tony Khan (@TonyKhan)
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Tony Khan is the founder of All Elite Wrestling. In an interview, he reflects on his most memorable moments from 2021. Reference: tony kahn.
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