Booker T has hit out at AEW President Tony Khan claiming he has “moved the goalposts” regarding ratings and is “doing a lot of talking about nothing.”
After AEW Rampage went up against the tail end of a ‘Supersized’ Friday Night SmackDown, Tony Khan claimed a victory of sorts as Rampage beat SmackDown in the 18-49 year-old demographic. However, SmackDown still drew the largest audience.
Speaking on a recent episode of his Hall of Fame podcast, Booker T discussed Khan’s reaction to the ratings and the competition between the two companies. Booker said that he felt Khan was “moving the goalposts” by talking about demographics instead of total viewership.
“You go to craps table, 7 or 11, boom, you hit, you win, or you crap,” Booker T stated. “Which one do you want? Do you want to win, or do you want to crap out? Crapping out is losing. Losing means if I got a bigger number than you, I win. If I if I cross the finish line one inch before you do, I win in any race. That’s normally the way it is. I don’t know about the demographic thing as much as I know about fans watching the show.
“I thought AEW would have had a chance to beat WWE in a head-to-head battle, as far as numbers, since WWE was on FS1. Everybody doesn’t get FS1, and then that didn’t happen. And I’m sure, if I’m not mistaken, Tony Khan has said earlier that they were going to beat them straight up, and now we’re talking about the demographics, so we got to find something, almost like moving the goalposts.”
Expanding further, Booker T accused Khan of “sounding like a schoolgirl” and not sounding like a boss. He went on to compare the competition to what he experienced between WWE and WCW throughout the mid to late 1990’s.
“I’m of the sentiment that Tony Khan’s doing a lot of talking about nothing,” Booker T said. “Go out and produce a good show. At the end of the day, we’ll know who won, if that’s what we’re looking for, if that’s your goal post, if that’s what you’re trying to score, but all of this talk about what you’re doing and this and that back and forth, I swear man, it sounds like a little school girl saying how pretty she is over the other girls on the school yard. I could be wrong, but to me, that’s what it sounds like. It doesn’t sound like a boss.
“It doesn’t sound like a real boss move to be talking about something as small as that. I remember back in the day when WCW and WWE, it was head-to-head going down, mano a mano, that was a real war, fighting for numbers. And at one point, WCW took that ratings war and ran with it for 83 weeks. That’s a long damn time. It’s a long damn time to say, ‘Man, we’re winning, we’re winning.’ But what happened after 83 weeks, the ball shifted, and we never got the momentum back again. And you know why?
“Because there was a lot of talking going on and a lot of guys not working and keeping their eyes on the prize. So my thing is, if Tony can is smart, I really think the guy is really smart, if he’s smart, he would definitely stop thinking about the fans own social media, as opposed ‘how long can we run this thing? How big can we make this?’ And I’m not just saying that because it’s Tony Khan.”
Booker T continued by explaining that it would be different if it was the wrestlers taking shots at each other, rather than the boss Tony Khan getting involved “on the battlefield.”
“Tony, he’s the boss. When you’re the boss, you carry yourself a certain way,” Booker T noted. “Now, if it was the boys, like this thing right now with Top Dolla and Max Caster, all day long. That right there right there for me, I can take that. Kenny Omega throwing shade on NXT, I can take that. Roman Reigns talking about CM Punk, I can take that all day long because that’s what a war.
“A war is the soldiers that’s on the battlefield. I can take that. I’m not saying one company shouldn’t throw digs or anything like that, but I’m just talking about the boss. The commander in chief, he ain’t gonna be on the battlefield doing the work. He’s gonna be in the war room, strategizing with all the generals, and then you got everybody else out there in the war zone working. That’s just my point.”
Tony Khan’s recent comments on social media have also drawn the attention of former WCW President Eric Bischoff. Addressing Khan, Bischoff said that he should “shut up and wrestle.”
In response Tony Khan said that Bischoff’s comments were “laughable.”
H/t to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.