AEW News

Tony Khan Will Be Ring Of Honor’s Booker

Tony Khan Tony Schiavone

Tony Khan has discussed the acquisition of Ring Of Honor and says it’s more than just a deal to get the tape library and he will be ROH’s booker going forward.

Tony Khan promised a huge announcement on the 2nd of March edition of AEW Dynamite and he delivered when he revealed that he had purchased Ring Of Honor.

ROH’s future was under a great deal of uncertainty after the company announced a hiatus beginning after the Final Battle show in December 2021. The company does have a Supercard show scheduled for early April but beyond that, what happens with the brand under Khan’s management is still relatively unclear.

Speaking at the post-Revolution media scrum, Tony Khan spoke at length about his plans moving forward with Ring Of Honor:

“I do have a lot of plans. I was very excited about reaching an agreement. I still plan to make more announcements. I’m still in a preliminary phase and obviously, it’s been a very busy time with AEW and Revolution and all the things going on.”

“I’ll have a lot more to say about it. What am I going to do? There is still a lot of things we need to figure out. The distribution is a great question and what we’re going to do moving forward. It assumes we’re going to do something going forward. I do want to continue the operations for it and do have a lot of plans for it.”

“I do expect to continue the wrestling operations and it’s also a very valuable library we acquired. Distribution, I can’t say anything yet about what it will be and how it’s going to live and exist. I’m very excited, not just about the library and past content, but the opportunities to create more content.”

“Obviously, there are many other revenues streams, merchandising, that will be able to generate, but it creates a lot of opportunities for us. It’s great. For AEW, strategically, I think it’s very good that I also now own Ring of Honor.”

On the subject of moving to a streaming service with both ROH and AEW content, Tony Khan responded that those decisions aren’t entirely down to him:

“I can’t comment on that. There is a lot of things happening. That would be a great thing. With TNT and TBS, to add a streaming service, that would be wonderful. That’s not all up to me. There is a chance to work with the great media partners we have and hopefully, create something.”

“Now, going back to Ring of Honor, I own a great library and we’ve created hundreds and hundreds of great hours of content and now, on top of that, we’re adding thousands of hours of also great content. It’s a great opportunity. A streaming service would be good, but I can’t say for sure. It’s not 100% in my court.”

Khan added that he recognised what Ring Of Honor has meant to the Baltimore area and says he can present a better version of the company than anyone else could:

“I’m still developing plans for what we’re going to do, but Baltimore has been a great home for ROH and they’ve run a number of events at UMBC and we’ve done a number of shows in Baltimore, including the original Full Gear. It’s an awesome area.”

“There is an amazing connection to Ring of Honor, I’m very cognizant of it and I do want to not only acknowledge the history of Ring of Honor, but I want to take it to another place, both respecting the library and doing things that make sense with it and make sense for me and for AEW and hopefully our media partners, but also going forward because there should be a Ring of Honor and I have the resources to present a better version than anyone else can.

Tony Khan also addressed the future of Ring Of Honor’s own Honor Club subscription service but was unable to give more information to its future:

“It’s too early in the process (to give an update). I can give you broad things about what I’m planning and what I plan to do going forward, but I can’t say much. I can’t say much about the future of Honor Club or where all the content is going to live or what I’m going to generate, but I do plan to generate content going forward. I’m very excited about it and I appreciate all the people I worked with on the deal to get it done.”

“They were very fair and the timing of it was great, coming off the 20th Anniversary of the launch of Ring of Honor. It’s very special and it’s why I was pleased to present Bryan Danielson vs. Christopher Daniels, which was a match 20 years in the making. It was great to have them competing since neither won on Era of Honor Begins.”

Khan was also unable to give much of an insight as to the future distribution of ROH content and the role, if any, that the company’s former owner Sinclair Broadcasting will play:

“There is a lot of things regarding distribution. I have great media partners and have a lot of conversations I need to have. One thing I did have was the support of my media partners when I bought Ring of Honor and made an agreement.”

“I owe the people in the process, it’s a complicated asset transfer we’re in the middle of right now. I don’t want to say too much about the complicated asset transfer and where those assets are going moving forward. I’m trying to be very respectful of the party that I just had a great negotiation with and we’re still transferring these assets. Where the library and future content will be disseminated, I can’t really say right now.”

Khan added that Sinclair Broadcasting and ROH COO Joe Koff wanted to work with him because they wanted the company in the hands of someone who will respect Ring Of Honor’s legacy. The AEW President was, however, unable to shed any light on what he plans to do with the ROH roster:

“I’m not going to say what I’m going to do with it in terms of the roster going forward, but there is a lot of opportunities, a lot of great wrestlers out there, young wrestlers, and a lot of great wrestlers under contract here and not under contract here.”

“Ring of Honor has an amazing history and I do plan to respect it and I do want to keep it alive. That’s one of the reasons they were excited to work with me, not to put words in their mouth. Joe Koff and all the people at Sinclair, they talked about how respecting the legacy was important and that’s why they were happy to see it end this way.”

Tony Khan confirmed that much like AEW, he will be the creative force behind Ring Of Honor and will be booking the company but paid tribute to the coaches and veterans in AEW that he can turn to for support:

“I am going to be the booker. I will be bringing in young wrestlers and they have a lot of young wrestlers. We’re very successful here and doing very well here. I plan to continue to do very well with it and bringing in wrestlers can that work in Ring of Honor or AEW potentially.”

“For continuity sake, when you bring people in, other wrestling companies that have had multiple promotions under one corporate structure or one person, I don’t think it’s conducive to have people coming into an environment — say somebody would come here from there and the whole thing that’s been going on with them, I might not be behind it.”

“We have a lot of great people in AEW and a lot of great minds. You saw Lord Regal is here, Ace Steel has been helping out and has been a great coach. Sonjay Dutt has been helping. The coaching roster has gotten stronger and I’m never afraid to utilize active wrestlers like Bryan Danielson. I will be (booking the company), but I will continue to work with people, soliciting ideas, keeping things organized, and building two great rosters of wrestlers.”

h/t Fightful