All Episodes

April 30, 2024 23 mins
I had the chance to kick it with AEW CEO Tony Khan days after he got physically involved in the wrestling ring. We discussed:
ALL IN, ALL OUT, Forbidden Door coming to NY, Goldberg's recent comments, celebrating 5 years of AEW, Adam Copeland's impact in AEW, the best wrestler on the planet today, AEW Champ Swerve Strickland's meteoric rise over the last 12 months and more.
Mark as Played
Transcript

Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
(00:00):
Heyo. It's the Superstar Crossover podcaston iHeartRadio. I'm Josh Martinez of Z
one hundred, New York's number onehit music station, also one of three
five Kiss FM in Chicago. Withmy guest all Things all Elite Wrestling.
I usually run down job titles.I'm not going to do it with you.
You have too many Tony Kommas goingon. Man, it's going well,

(00:22):
Josh. It's great to see you. Thanks for having me on.
You got the neck brace on.How you feeling, bro, Well,
it's frankly a blessing. I'm blessedto be here, you know, after
taking one of the most dangerous movesin pro wrestling, the spike pile Driver,
from some of the most dangerous bestwrestlers in the world, I'm here
and I suffered injuries on AW WednesdayNight Dynamite, But you know, we're

(00:48):
doing well and it's a great timefor the company and for wrestling, and
it's great to talk about AW andwrestling with you on Z one hundred,
sir, So over the we hada busy weekend that had nothing to do
with pro wrestling, had to dowith with another job that you have amongst
the plenty, but there was somethingfun that happened with your neck brace that
you are going to donate it toRich Eisen. I believe, yes,

(01:10):
it's a great point. I'm goingto donate the neck brace I'm wearing to
Rich Eisen's Run Rich Run platform.It's a great charity and Rich is doing
great things, and I think it'sawesome that Rich is supporting Saint Jude's through
his forty yard dash the run RichRun. And during that draft, Rich
is the host on NFL Network andhe during the picks mentioned the pile driver,

(01:37):
mentioned the injury and adw and gavesome good shout outs to AW and
also references to this neck brace andtried to make light of a dangerous situation
but really did some good stuff forAW And also hopefully now we can do
something good with the neck brace andraise money for Saint Jude's via Rich Eisen's

(02:00):
on Rich Run. You know what, Rich Eisen's a good dude. Him
and I went to the same highschool. Like the notable alumni at my
high school that I went to onStaten Island. It's like Rich Eisen and
Marshall Clark from the O. J. Simpson trial, that's it. Well,
you guys are peas in a podand two of the best hosts I
know and I've both been great friendsto ae W you, Josh and Rich

(02:23):
Eisen And kind of a neat coincidencethat you guys went to the same high
school in Staten Island. I grewup in Illinois. I went to the
University of Illinois Laboratory High School.It's a cool place and there were three
Nobel Prize winners there and we startedAW out of there, and I was
writing Wednesday Night Dynamo episodes in notebooksthere. Long before we ever had a

(02:47):
show on TBS. I was writingshows called Dynamite and long before we had
AW. And you know, growingup in Illinois, it's been fun.
We did some shows in the Midwestrecently around my hometown and we had a
great pay per view not far away. You know. AW Dynasty was such
an amazing event. I can't waitto come up to New York. Tickets

(03:09):
are flying off for June thirtieth ubsArena AW Forbidden Door. Yeah, I
was going to get into that.Actually, Forbidden Door, the pay per
view, which is in June.We have one before that. We'll get
to that in a little bit.Why now for a New York City or
a New York based pay per view, I should say, it just seems

(03:30):
like the perfect event to bring toNew York City. The city is one
of the world's greatest pro wrestling meccas. UBS is a beautiful new arena that's
got great history with aaw and ForbiddenDoor is such a special event to bring
the great stars from New Japan ProWrestling and all over the world to New
York. I think it's awesome.And you know, the UBS Arena on

(03:54):
June thirtieth will be the home toso many of the world's best wrestlers,
top stars from AEW and all overthe world. And Forbidden Door has been
a great show the past couple ofyears, and I think we can have
the best Forbidden Door yet this yearat UBS Arena. Can't wait. That's
a bold statement, my friend.We're looking forward to it. Fast forwarding

(04:15):
a little bit more, last year'sAll in Wembley All Out in Chicago were
two different shows completely. It almostfelt like a two night event where there
was really no Whatever happened in Wembleydidn't really carry over to the next week
from the totality of the pay perview event. Is that the plan again

(04:38):
this year to do two separate showsor are we going to try to do
a little more intertwining storyline wise?In those seven days between All In and
All Out, we're two of ourbest shows last year and two great pay
per views. I think it workedout incredibly well, and people wondered how
we're going to follow this historic AllIn, and it was a great show,
voted by many the best show ofthe year, and then we followed

(05:00):
it up with All Out, whichalso was thought by many to be our
best show of the year. Theywere completely different, like you said,
totally different environments, totally different situations, going to London Wembley Stadium last year
for All In and then in Chicagofor All Out, and that arena was
rocking. The matches were great,and I think you know, it was
a mix, a mix of someseparate stories and then some flow like where

(05:24):
you had Darby in there with theman now known as kill Switch coming off
that great match with Stinging Darby withChristian and Swerve at Wembley's and the connection
there, and then you had JohnMoxley and Orange Cassidy Wrestling after the tremendous
stadium stampede match at all in,so some good connective tissue there, But

(05:47):
absolutely I think it's going to bea great all in, all out this
year and really looking forward to that. And of course we're going to celebrate
the five year anniversary of AW verysoon coming up in about a month.
Can't wait for Las Vegas double ornothing. It's going to be a great
show and a great place to celebratefive years of AW in the exact same

(06:10):
place where it began. Now,you mentioned Sting before, and we know
the incredible send off that your teamput on for him at a previous pay
per view event. Adam Copeland kindof talking about legends. What does he
meant to the AW locker room sincecoming in October? I believe yes,
Adam Copeland is such a great leaderfor AW. He's a TNT champion and

(06:36):
having the raid at our superstar asa locker room leader is such a special
thing for us. We're gonna haveAdam Copeland wrestling tomorrow night on Wednesday Night
Dynamite in a TNT Championship match.It's in a COPE open match, and
it could be any one of thethree of the House to Black Wrestling.

(06:57):
Adam Copeland and the House of Blackhold an advantage here because they know the
opponent and Adam doesn't. It's goingto be a great match. And I
think that Adam Copeland has been sucha great champion for AW and a great
leader, and tomorrow night on TBS, I think that's going to be a
great match, and I'm really lookingforward to that and also just very grateful

(07:19):
to have Adam Copeland the Raid atour Superstar in AW every week. And
really this is the first time we'vegone a week without seeing Adam in a
long time, as he's recovering fromthat mist and that great match that we
had last week at AW Dynasty.Now you talk about you said he's a

(07:40):
great leader. Now a lot oftimes when you talk about leaders, it
usually starts a top with the topdog. And if you're the top dog,
you're the heavyweight champ. What hasSwerve proved to you over the last
let's say twelve months as a performerin AW. Well, Swerve is the
AW World Champion. And what aweek it's been going from AW Dynasty to

(08:03):
really a great match and a greatweek in Jacksonville starting it out with an
eliminator against Kyle Fletcher, who isone of the top young stars in wrestling,
and it was a great matchup forSwerve. And then for Swerve to
have his first live interview as thechampion again in Daily's Place this past weekend
with a great lead in and agreat opportunity for AW. And then follow

(08:28):
it up with Claudio Castaignoli accepting achallenge coming out one of the best wrestlers
in the world. And what agreat way for Swerve to make his first
ever defense of the AW World Championship. And I think Swerve's going to be
such a great champion for AW,a great face and representative for the company.
We're very lucky to have Swerve Stricklandis the AW World Champion. And

(08:50):
I'm really excited about a lot ofthings happening in AW and this great week
we just had for Swerve going fromAW Dynasty to this big week he had
in Jacksonville and tomorrow night on WednesdayNight Dynamite, we'll find out who Swerve's
going to be wrestling at the upcomingDouble or Nothing pay per view. Like
I was saying, we'll celebrate fiveyears of AW very soon at the place

(09:13):
where it all began in Las Vegas, and it'll be a great pay per
view. And I think Swerve's goingto be a great champion for AW and
he is right now. You mentionedhis open challenge, so to speak.
This past Saturday on Collision, wealso saw the return of Ruche and Phoenix
as well this past Saturday. Asa fan, I was just sitting I

(09:35):
actually happened to be on air Saturdaynight seven to midnight, so I had
it on as I would and Isaw them. Now it was a bit
of a surprise. Maybe it wason Twitter and I didn't see it.
Maybe I don't know when it comesto making decisions like that from a hey,
they're back, they're ready to go. Should we promote it? Should
it be a surprise? What's yourtake on that type of approach when it

(09:56):
comes to superstars coming back, wrestler'scoming back from injury, or maybe a
new signee. Well, Ruche Iwanted to bring back as a surprise for
the fans in Jacksonville. We haddone some cool things on Wednesday, some
fun surprises in terms of that CasinoGauntlet match and some really cool unexpected matchups
that nobody saw coming. And wehad given the fans a really fun show.

(10:20):
There was so much great stuff onWednesday show in Jacksonville, including that
Casino Gauntlet match, but also greatto see John Moxley versus Powerhouse Hobbs unfortunately
what happened to me with the YoungBucks and Jack Perry, but also a
lot of the great things happening inAW around the women's division we saw this
past week Timeless Tony Storm had agreat match over the weekend with Anna j

(10:45):
and on Wednesday, all these greatthings like Willow Nightingale and Mercedes Monette facing
off ahead of their TBS championship matchat Double or Nothing, and great to
have a new TBS champion, WillowNightingale, who's a New Yorker and a
great wrestler star and uh and youknow Maria May and Mina and so many

(11:05):
interesting things happening around AW And nowSerena deeb the Professor coming out and she's
gonna wrestle Mariam May tomorrow night onWednesday Night. Dynamite very excited about that.
So all these cool things happening,and I wanted to give the fans
a nice surprise on Saturday, andI thought that it would be great to
have Rush come back and can't waitto have Rush back in aw And I

(11:28):
thought this was like a really coolsurprise for the fans in Jacksonville, just
like we'd given some fun surprises onWednesday with the matchups in the Casino Gatlet
match and really try to get keepthis night special. I got a fun
surprise, and it didn't happen tillafter Dynamite, so I wasn't able to
really get ahead on it, youknow, on prior weeks to television.

(11:50):
It was something that snuck up onme, uh later, and we just
cleared right before collision Ray Phoenix andI did. And when he came in
for the medical check and he wascleared and he really wanted to wrestle for
the fans in Jacksonville, I thoughtit was great. So we announced it
during the draft and I had,you know, some block there and there

(12:13):
was something else that I moved aroundand still be able to accommodate, but
made some changes to make sure wegot this great match on the show for
the fans, Ray Phoenix versus mortoasAnd I was very pleasantly surprised when Ray
Phoenix came in and said he gotcleared for this week because it was not
something I went in expecting and itwas a nice, nice thing to get

(12:35):
Ray Phoenix back and a nice surprisefor the fans and something really fun and
I'm glad you enjoyed it too.So mentioning this Wednesday Night's Dynamite, you
mentioned a slew of women that areperforming at a high level right now.
Rumor word on the street is thatAW signed former nw WA Women's champion Camille.
That's a rumor. Anything you wantto say about that, well,

(12:58):
I think Camille is a great wrestler, followed her very closely. She's worked
with a lot of the top awtalent. As for her status, I
can't comment to that, but Ithink she's tremendous talent and would be an
asset to any wrestling company for sure, including AW. So right before this
interview started and I was setting thingsup, I saw something that caught my
eye. Now I will preface thisby saying this could very well be something

(13:22):
that was clickbaity, something that thetitle was a little thrown off, but
I think I would miss something aboutI don't bring this up allegedly, and
that's the keyword here. Kevin Nashcompared what happened at the end of Wednesday
Night to WCW's Fingerpoint of Doom withSean Oliver, who, by the way,
I'm a huge fan of his work. When you hear something like that,
what's your initial thought. Well,I think Kevin Nash was a great

(13:48):
wrestler, and his opinions on wrestling, I'm not sure I agree with him.
Like he's had some takes on WillOsprey I definitely don't agree with,
and I'd be remiss if I didn'tbring that up. And I think Will
Ospray is one of the best youngwrestlers in the world. We're really fortunate
to have will Osprey in AW.He's been coming in week in, week

(14:09):
out and working so hard, havinggreat matches. You know, since he
debuted both pay per views he's beenon. He's been in these classic matches
against Takashida at AW Revolution and againstBrian Danielson just over a week ago at
AW Dynasty. I think will Ospreyis so phenomenal, and I've heard criticisms

(14:33):
from Kevin that I don't necessarily agreewith about Will, so some of his
opinions about current wrestling, I justdon't agree with but I wish him the
best and all the respect in theworld. And if you needed to pick
just one, and I'm gonna putyou on the spot, damn it.
If you need to pick one personto say this is the best wrestler on
the planet today, who would yousay? Well, I would say the

(14:58):
two if I I would if Imay choose from the men's and the women's
divisions, I would say Swerve Stricklandthe AW World Champion, and timeless Tony
Storm the AW Women's World Champion.They hold the world titles. There are
a lot of great champions in wrestling. I think the world of like so

(15:20):
many great champions, Like I said, the new TBS champion Willow. You
could go on and on about thegreat champions like Okata and Roderick Strong or
Adam Copeland, who we've already gussedabout. Who could easily be one of
the top answers you'd give here forsure, Brian Danielson is amazing. John
Moxley's the IWGP World Champion. Andthere are so many great names and great

(15:43):
stars men and women around the world. But if I had to pick the
top men's wrestler and the top womenwrestler in the world right now, I
would say Swerve Strickland and timeless TonyStorm. So my last guess was WWE
star Beckulnd And you've been on theshow plenty times. She had a question

(16:03):
for you, what do you wantthe audience to know about you? I
would love for people to know thatI love pro wrestling and that AW on
TBS and TNT every week is adream come true. And every Wednesday night
when we put on AW on TBSand every Friday and Saturday on TNT,

(16:25):
this is fulfilling a lifelong dream Dynamite. I had already mentioned it a little
bit earlier that it's a show thatI've been writing since I was twelve years
old in notebooks and always wanted tobring to people. And I think that,
you know, even if I hadn'twalked away from that pile driver last
week, I'd be very happy knowingthat we've been able to do great things

(16:49):
and brought some great matches and greatmoments to wrestling. And you mentioned Sting's
retirement, I'd say I'm as proudof what we did for Sting and giving
Sting the platform to go out withthe best sendoff possible after his amazing career,
because he deserves that, which Idon't understand. I must say,

(17:10):
I must say, you don't haveto you don't have to say anything after
I say this, why Goldberg hadzero interest and then like shits on aw
recently saying that it was like tootoo cheesy I think was the term he
used, or whatever Bill wanted towork here. Still Bill met with Bill
several times Bill was looking to workhere, So I don't know what you
know. It's funny because uh,I had a bunch of really nice meetings

(17:33):
with Bill and would have honestly beeninterested in doing something. So since you
brought it up, I have alot of respect for Bill. But I
was surprised by that because certainly thatwasn't what he said to me when he
was talking to me about maybe workinghere at some point, which I've always
been open to. And I reallylike Bill. It's you know, all
about timing, and we're doing alot of exciting things here right now,

(17:56):
and Sting just finished up and Ithink, you know, went out on
his own terms doing things he reallyliked. It felt strongly about and I
know Sting and Bill are good friends, and I really like Bill and I
have respect for him. But whenI saw that, I mean, Bill's
talked to me about working here,so I don't think he had any problem
with any of that content. Andanybody who saw us things send off has

(18:19):
had positive things to say, SoI'm not sure what that was about.
But I do respect Bill and Ilike him very much. I'm here in
Jacksonville, Florida, and he hasties here and I wish him the best.
God bless him. And you know, he's a great name in wrestling,
and I love what we do inaw and he's entitled to his opinions,

(18:41):
but certainly when I've talked to himin person several times, and in
person and in zooms and phone calls, we've had very nice conversations and he
hasn't said that, but you know, it's good to know that's how he
feels. And maybe that's an opinionhe holds now, but certainly in our
past conversations he's always been a verypositive, nice guy. My next guest

(19:03):
is going to be WWE superstar JohnnyGargano. Is there a question that you
would like to have for Johnny thatwe could pass along. I'm not sure
I should be speaking to him orconveying questions. I think the idea now
permission from from the podcast is justit could be what's his favorite cheat meal?

(19:23):
It could be a very simple,subdued question. I don't know.
I don't think that's slippery slope.If I'm starting to ask questions of people
from other wrestling promotions, maybe maybeI should take a pass on that one.
Even though it's a lot of fun, I just don't want to get
anybody in trouble. And you gotto remember, I'm responsible for a lot
of people's jobs. I don't wantto create any liabilities for any of them

(19:45):
that could affect anybody. Certainly,you know, wrestling's already a crazy enough
business. But wish everybody the best, and I hope maybe this you could
pass on the same question I wasasked, because I think it's a great
question. Then you know, whatdo you want people to know about you?
That's a good question. So shiftinggears because we have just a couple

(20:07):
more minutes left. You had apretty bit busy weekend NFL Draft. What
excited you most this weekend about thedraft? What a great question. It
was so great for the Jaguars tocome out of the draft with several great
players. We had a great weekend, drafted well, made great trade I
believe, and you know, pickedup future picks and also had great picks

(20:33):
this year, and then we werereally active and undrafted free agency, and
I think we're a much better footballteam after this weekend, which is the
thing I'm the most excited about,is that we've really strengthened the team and
added some great players on defense andadded great players that can help the offense.
We got a great coach with DougPeterson, and a great quarterback with
Trevor Lawrence, and added one weaponin particular with Brian Thomas. You're BTJ

(21:00):
is one of the best wide receiversin recent draft history, and he's a
great, great college football player who'sgot great athletic ability. And bringing Brian
from LSU to the Jacksonville Jaguars isgoing to be a huge addition and it
was. So it was a greatweekend for the Jaguars all round, and

(21:22):
definitely that was a highlight as well. I just hope for the record that
both of our first round picks fromLSU do very well this upcoming season.
Well, the Jaguars added if I'msure you noticed we had several players from
LSU. We were very right.That's right, that's right. We went

(21:44):
right back to back, right offthe top of LSU and and uh,
not only with Brian and Mason,but then also with Jordan's so uh,
three great players out of LSU andjust a really great draft class, a
lot of players out of the SEC, Jerry and from FSU, some great
players, some great teams and theJaguars I think are a better team now

(22:06):
for sure after this weekend. AndI think everybody stocks up in the draft,
but I was really excited we wereable to stock up and picked up
multiple picks for next year as well, which is always important. Year.
You know, year after year,we've been stocking those picks and we keep
coming in with, you know,additional picks. This year we had the
compensatory picks as well. I thinkas an organization, we've been well managed.

(22:30):
And I think that it's really excitingbecause our players are really hungry to
win here in Jacksonville for these fansand for Doug. Doug's a great coach
and he deserves it, and he'sgonna come out with a great team this
year. And I really believe inDoug Peterson. One day I will do
enough soccer research to hold the conversation. But till then, thank you.

(22:52):
Tony Conna could do football and wrestling, can't do the original football. But
we'll stop there. I appreciate youfor stopping by. Thank you so much,
man. Thank you for having meon and I hope you and everybody
will be able to check out AWWednesday night, Dynamite tomorrow night, eight
pm on TBS. Thank you foralways having the AW wrestlers and myself from

(23:14):
the AW office on the show.Josh, you're a great man. I
wish good luck to your basketball teamand all your sports teams. God bless
you and thank you. Wishing youand Z one hundred all the best.
Thank you very much for being sucha great friend to AEW and me personally. Josh
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