AEW president Tony Khan made it abundantly clear he’s not a fan of former WWE and WCW writer Vince Russo while appearing on Pardon My Take this week. While discussing WCW’s demise as a promotion back in 2001, Khan said (h/t Fightful), “Some of the things that went wrong for WCW were giving creative control to a lot of the wrestlers and some of the storylines were asinine. Some of the ideas were great, but it was a very disorganized show and then when they brought somebody else in from the WWF to be a writer, Vince Russo, he made it ten times worse. He took a problem…they had a massive hangnail and he just chopped off the arm. That was part of the problem.
“Then, you had another major issue, which was the management,” he continued. “Most successful wrestling companies have had one supreme commander at the top. He’s owned it, booked everything, run the place, run management. Whether it’s Vince McMahon organizing everything, Cowboy Bill Watts, Eddie Graham, Fritz Von Erich, countless others. That made sense as a business model. Strong management, WCW didn’t have, and I could provide. (I’m a) more organized booker than anyone (WCW) had.”
During Forbes‘ recent feature on the rise of AEW, Khan spoke about not wanting to be considered “the next WCW,” while also pointing out how the end of that company was what eventually led to AEW taking off as the No. 2 promotion in the country.
“I don’t want to be the next ‘blank’ wrestling company of the past — fill in the blank,” Khan said. “We love wrestling of the past, wrestling of the present and wrestling of the future… That’s what gives us a great chance to retain and gain audience share.”
“I’m glad that WCW failed because it created a vacancy for us to come in and succeed,” he later added. “But it made it a fairly bleak period for the wrestling business.”
AEW Dynamite won’t have a new episode tonight due to the ongoing NBA Playoffs, but does have a special episode lined up for Saturday night on TNT. Hangman Page will take on Powerhouse Hobbs, while Kenny Omega defends the AEW World Championship against Jungle Boy.
1 week from TONIGHT #AEWDynamite returns to LIVE Wednesdays, but #SaturdayNightDynamite is THIS Saturday at 8/7c on TNT! #AEW World Champion @KennyOmegamanX defends against the #1 Contender #JungleBoy. PLUS Meet/Greets, Elevation+Dark Tapings
4pm doors 🎫- https://t.co/UN1cNj1kQq pic.twitter.com/SjrQ4dL0Iw
— All Elite Wrestling (@AEW) June 23, 2021