A Look At How The Khans Have Called On Previous Experiences To Capture The UK Wrestling Market

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History has shown us that any rival company that challenges the WWE almost always fails.

Before 2019, as many as ten different wrestling promotions had taken a run at Vince McMahon’s World Wrestling Entertainment, only for them all to collapse shortly thereafter. Put plainly, before 2019, the professional wrestling industry was the hardest market in the world to crack owing to the extraordinary monopoly the WWE had since 1980.

However, since the advent of All Elite Wrestling on January 1st, 2019, that trend has changed.

The father and son duo of Shahid and Tony Khan who are the AEW founders have done what no one before them was able to do by managing to get a foothold in the market. There is no better example of this than what the pair have achieved in the United Kingdom with AEW now the most-watched wrestling show on the other side of the Atlantic.

While some observers might say this is simply down to AEW opting to broadcast their product on Freeview channel ITV4 while the WWE put theirs behind BT Sport’s subscription service, the reality is that there is a lot more to it than that.

So, how have the Khans been able to capture one of the biggest wrestling audiences in the world despite all the obstacles that come with going head-to-head with the WWE?

Familiar With The UK Market

AEW’s stunning rise to the top of the viewing ratings in the UK is perhaps not as surprising as first thought once you look into the background of the Khans. In short, Shahid and Tony know what drives the UK sporting market on account of their long history of hosting box office events in London. In particular, Shahid has been bringing his franchise the Jacksonville Jaguars to Wembley Stadium since 2013 as part of the NFL’s International Series.

Tellingly, no team in the NFL has played as regularly in England’s capital, and, in many respects, Shahid has been one of the most influential figures in helping to capture the UK’s attention when it comes to American football. These days, tickets are sold out months in advance with bumper crowds heading to Wembley every year to watch the International Series.

It’s important to stress that this was far from the case before Shahid bought the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2011 with the UK public showing a distinct lack of interest towards the NFL. The wider point here is that Shahid has been hugely successful in finding a way to appeal to sports fans in the UK for over ten years now. It is with this familiarity with the UK sports industry in mind that you can get a better idea of why AEW has managed to steal a march on the WWE in the UK since 2019 despite the latter dominating the market for the last four decades.

Success In The World’s Most Competitive Football League

On top of being the pioneers to bring American football into the living rooms of millions of people in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland, the Khans have also been successful in the world’s most competitive football competition – the English Premier League. The pair own Fulham Football Club in London and after a few topsy-turvy years in charge, they have now impressively got to grips with what is required to keep a team in the English top flight.

This can be seen in the current league table with Fulham now odds-on for a top-half finish for the first time under the Khans’ ownership. At least, at the odds Betway is offering as of the 28th April which are 30/100, it looks like a mere formality that Fulham will finish in the top ten places of the league. Once again, this success with Fulham proves how adept the Khans are at establishing themselves in an industry that is new to them. In fact, some might say that if you can make it in the English Premier League, then you make it anywhere.

Ten Years Of Hard Work Paying Dividends

Essentially, the Khans are now also making it in the world of professional wrestling as they do the seemingly impossible by surging ahead of the WWE in the TV ratings war. Following ten years of cutting their teeth in London with various sporting teams, the Khans are now using the lessons they have learned to make their emerging wrestling company the most popular in the United Kingdom. Few would have given them a chance back in 2019 but they are now on the brink of changing the landscape of professional wrestling for good.