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Tony Khan Addresses New AEW TV Show, New Japan Relationship

Tony Khan
Tony Khan | Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

After AEW Revolution in Chicago Saturday night, the wrestling promotion's founder Tony Khan spoke with reporters for about a half-hour on a wide range of topics, including the upcoming War Games esque event in Newark (which he declines to call War Games due to trademark issues), Matt Hardy (whom he declines to discuss), and some media stories. I recorded the scrum on Periscope, which you need to click through to open:

The two questions I asked pertained to a) AEW's announcement in their rights renewal with AT&T's WarnerMedia that said a second show would be added to AEW Dynamite, and b) the promotion's relationship with New Japan.

With regards to the first, Khan said that it would be a TV show, and while there may be a streaming component it would not air exclusively over-the-top. I had personally wondered whether the show would be on linear television or perhaps used as a carrot to entice wrestling fans to subscribe to HBO Max, which AT&T is launching in May.

In answers to follow-up questions from reporters, Khan indicated that they're not ready to announce the night it will air. However, after a reporter asked about recent comments from AEW EVP Cody Rhodes that he'd love for Dynamite to one day move to compete with WWE Raw on Monday Nights, Khan provided a context clue. He said that given that his family owns 100 percent of the Jacksonville Jaguars, he is not keen on competing with Monday Night Football, which is the number 1 franchise on cable TV and which they have a stake in.

Given that AEW ostensibly does not want to go head-to-head with the NFL on other evenings either, the process of elimination reveals that the possible nights of the week for their second show are Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday (as Dynamite already airs on Wednesday).

Friday would make a lot of sense; Tuesday would be a little jammed having it two nights in a row -- TNT also runs NBA games on a number of Tuesday nights -- and Saturdays are when they run their PPVs. On Friday, perhaps they could do either 8-10pm ET and compete with an hour of SmackDown on FOX before having their own exclusive hour window of wrestling, or go from 9-11pm ET and perhaps capitalize on the fact that many fans are watching wrestling (SD averages about 2.5 million viewers) and could then switch over when FOX goes to local news.

As far as New Japan is concerned, Chris Jericho pleaded for more cooperation from the two promotions after WrestleKingdom in January. Khan noted that AEW talents have been free to perform there provided it doesn't conflict with their obligations to Dynamite or the PPVs. Jon Moxley and Chris Jericho had recent matches there. However, he made it clear he would welcome some reciprocity that has yet to happen.

"It hasn't really been a two-way street," Khan said with a twinkle. "Haven't seen a lot of their guys here. I don't hear from them often, but if you guys are watching this you're welcome for all the great stuff I've done for you and if you'd ever like to send some of your people here for work I would treat them respectfully as you guys have treated my guys."