22 C
Los Angeles
Friday, June 21, 2024

Tony Khan, Founder of AEW, Reflects on His Wrestling Journey Ahead of Seattle PPV Debut – Under 30 Founder

BusinessTony Khan, Founder of AEW, Reflects on His Wrestling Journey Ahead of Seattle PPV Debut - Under 30 Founder

Before All Elite Wrestling’s (AEW) Pay-Per-View debut in Seattle, AEW founder Tony Khan delved into his passion for professional wrestling and the impact of the Pacific Northwest on the wrestling world.

Tony Khan, born and raised in Champaign, Illinois, is the son of Shahid Khan, the owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Fulham F.C. in London. His love for wrestling traces back to his childhood.

Khan recalled his earliest encounter with wrestling while watching television, where he first saw Hulk Hogan on the TV show ‘The A-Team.’ As a dedicated TV enthusiast with access to a satellite dish, young Khan had the privilege of tuning into a wide range of global programming.

He reminisced about watching news broadcasts via satellite feeds, with even legendary anchor Peter Jennings casually smoking cigarettes during commercial breaks. “I could find pretty much anything I wanted to watch,” Khan remarked. “And I really liked ‘The A-Team’ a lot.”

‘The A-Team,’ featuring George Peppard and Mr. T, was an action-adventure series centered around a commando squad wrongly accused of a crime. Khan found it fascinating, including the somewhat surreal element of Hulk Hogan’s character supposedly being a veteran of the Vietnam War.

Another childhood favorite for Khan was ‘G.I. Joe.’ He mentioned watching ‘G.I. Joe’ after school regularly, with Sgt. Slaughter serving as a live-action host, introducing and closing the show. Unbeknownst to Khan at the time, Sgt. Slaughter was a professional wrestler, playing the role of a former U.S. Marine who had served in the Vietnam War.

It wasn’t until around 1990, when Khan was approximately seven years old, that he started seeing wrestling on TV. This marked the era of Hulk Hogan and Sgt. Slaughter’s feud in the then-WWF, captivating young Khan and sparking his journey as a wrestling enthusiast.

Khan’s wrestling fascination grew as he began watching other wrestling promotions, including WWF’s competitor, WCW. He devoured wrestling magazines and used his satellite dish to access independent wrestling broadcasts from across the country.

His firsthand experience of attending a WWF show in his hometown, where the main event featured the Undertaker against the Ultimate Warrior, further solidified his passion for wrestling. Khan fondly remembers trying to persuade other kids to join him in watching wrestling, foreshadowing his future as a wrestling promoter.

Nearly three decades later, in 2019, Tony Khan founded All Elite Wrestling (AEW), a promotion that has since achieved record-breaking ticket sales for wrestling events. AEW has quickly risen to prominence, boasting a roster of talented wrestlers, including several from the Puget Sound region.

Among these talented wrestlers is Bryan Danielson, known as the ‘American Dragon,’ who has returned to the ring and plays a significant role in AEW’s success. His connection to the Pacific Northwest and the nostalgia of wrestling in the region have contributed to the anticipation surrounding AEW’s ‘WrestleDream’ PPV debut in Seattle.

Tony Khan expressed his excitement for the Seattle crowd and the opportunity to create a homecoming for some of AEW’s top stars. He believes that fans will be delighted with the upcoming ‘WrestleDream’ show at Climate Pledge Arena.

Check out our other content

Check out other tags:

Most Popular Articles