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By Mike Johnson on 2021-04-07 09:00:00

Mike Johnson: So how different or how similar is it when you're at the position being at the top of the pyramid - it's your name, it's your vision, it's your money, it's your blood, sweat and tears equity in this company, and you send these people out to perform, and sometimes they have ideas, as you said, that you have to be talked into. How different is that from overseeing Fulham FC or the Jaguars or other companies for you where you're in charge or in a position of authority, when you have to give that trust, beyond that this is a completely different entity. 

Tony Khan: They're totally different. I wouldn't even say I'm in charge of the Jaguars. My dad is really in charge of the Jaguars truly and Urban runs the day to day and Urban Meyer is a great coach. And then at Fulham, our head coach is managing the players day to day. I am in charge of the club day to day, I manage the football and I handle the contracts so there's maybe some more similarities there in that I'm the day to day boss but there are a lot of different aspects. I wish we could plan our finishes and talk about our finishes and things like that in sports but you can't. In all of modern wrestling so often, the wrestlers like to take chances and a lot of it is the balance of trying to maintain safety and a lot of times I'll err on the side of caution and experience has pushed me that way. So when it comes to things like the finish they did, I have to be really comfortable with it to go through with something like that. So the blood was not really what worried me as much as the driver off the apron through the table on the concrete.

Mike Johnson: We want talk about The House Always Wins, the first ever non-broadcast AEW show that's going to take place this Friday in Jacksonville. Other than other events that are taking place in Florida that same weekend, what made this timing right to decide to do this and does this open the door for regular house shows Friday nights in Jacksonville after you're done taping the TV on Wednesday and Thursday?

Tony Khan: I am open to doing more house shows. This is an experiment, it felt like a great week for us to do it where we have the whole crew available to us and we got a really good house for Dynamite this week, we have a great crowd, and with the recent sales of Dynamite, tickets have trended really well, Revolution did very well, the weather's been great, the fans have been great, we wanted to do something special for our fans here in Jacksonville. The fans in Jacksonville have been heard around the world and what they've done through the pandemic has been really special because we started doing shows here in August, and week in and week out the fans here are so supportive and not only have they have they helped the wrestlers and the matches and AEW, us, our show, but fans around the world have enjoyed the show more because of the people in Jacksonville. There's people all over America, Canada, England, Europe, TNT Africa, and all the great places we're at, in South America, it's like...we've been able to take advantage of the great support we've had from the fans in Jacksonville. There's moments like when Darby won the TNT Title from Cody at Full Gear, when the Young Bucks won the tag team titles that night at Full Gear from FTR, at Winter Is Coming when Kenny won the title in not the cleanest fashion at all from Mox and when Sting debuted the crowd being there was such a huge, important part of it, having well over 1,000 fans. Of course, the Brodie Lee memorial show. Thank you so much to all the fans who were there who were heard around the world and the chants for Brodie, the support all night, we had over 1,000 people again for that. They're a real wrestling crowd and they've helped through the pandemic and nobody else in America had that. Nobody else in America consistently had that support of 1,000 people give or take, recently with vaccines we've expanded to 20% capacity outdoor shows to 25%, done close to 1,300 people for Revolution and the Brodie memorial and shows like that, it's just been great support and I knew these fans would support a house show and the economics of wrestling really changed and the cost of putting on shows is higher than it used to be and we have a lot of top talent that already work their asses off on Dynamite, Elevation and Dark for us, but this is a week where we have a really big crew in town, we were going to do a really good number for Dynamite and it felt like we could just stay here in our base and there would be a lot of fans that would want to come here and see the show. So it made a lot of sense and we're on pace to do a great house and again have over 1,000 people at Daily's Place on Friday. For some of the young wrestlers, in particular to me, this is a great chance for them, some of them haven't had a chance to wrestle in front of a crowd before the pandemic and really through the pandemic the opportunity to do so has been very limited, so it's a great chance for some of our young wrestlers - Jade Cargill, Dante Martin, Cesar Bononi, among others, to get experience in front of live crowds. For many of our veterans, they love doing it, it's fun, it's a big perk of the job for them. 

Mike Johnson: So I know the show is being advertised as non-broadcast but you guys are going to tape it for future consideration in case you need it for whatever reason or future streaming or DVD...

Tony Khan: Yeah as part of our library. I am going to tape it and it's going to be part of our video library. And the matches will count on the record with the AEW show.

Interview continues on Page 4!

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