AEW President Tony Khan has claimed AEW is the UK’s “number one” wrestling promotion although admits they haven’t hit the same heights as WCW.
Khan was appearing on AEW star Swerve Strickland’s Swerve City podcast where he discussed the wrestling business in the early 2000s when WWE emerged as the sole big company in the US following the demise of WCW and ECW and says the rise of IMPACT and Ring Of Honor came out of the ashes of those predecessors:
“There was nothing really since WCW went down that felt that way. Even at the end of WCW, they always had it. Until the day they actually pulled the plug, none of us believed that could ever happen. It was unthinkable when it happened. Since then, there’s Impact, which is great, but it’s like the zombie WCW.
“The guys that were leftover from WCW, some of them went and started another wrestling company. There’s Ring Of Honor kind of, in some ways came up from the skeleton of what was ECW. Those companies built legacies that ironically lasted longer than the original companies.”
Tony Khan then added that ROH and IMPACT have never been able to hit the heights that AEW have but concedes AEW has a long way to go to hit the heady heights of WCW although says that AEW is the number one wrestling promotion in some parts of the world, including the UK:
“These companies like we are talking about, Ring Of Honor is a great example. Other companies I just mentioned, got really affected I think by free agency. But they also have never reached the heights where AEW has reached.”
“I think it’s the first time since WCW, and I am not trying to say we have reached the same peaks as WCW. I don’t want to get misquoted or misconstrued because at one point WCW was the number one wrestling company all around the world overall. There are parts of the world where we are number one which is amazing, like the United Kingdom.”
In the UK AEW programming is shown on the ITV network which is available on free to air channels whereas WWE airs on BT Sport which is available via subscription although condensed highlights of Raw and SmackDown are available on the free to air Channel 5 network.