Nick Khan comments on Vince McMahon, potential sale, AEW

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Nick Khan sat down for a one-hour chat with Bill Simmons following one of the most chaotic periods of WWE’s history.

Khan began the interview by noting that “from the inside, it’s not insane to me” regarding moves that included Vince McMahon being reinstalled as executive chairman, the resignation of his daughter Stephanie, two board members resigning, and McMahon making new bylaws providing his additional influence.

Khan was there to put a positive outlook on the company by reiterating that McMahon was only back for the purposes of exploring “strategic alternatives” that could include a sale, merger, purchase, or no sale at all with all options on the table. He said McMahon has not been involved in other areas of the business and that there are no plans for McMahon to appear on television with the caveat that could change within a few months.

Khan noted that McMahon really did step down last July with himself, Paul Levesque, and Stephanie McMahon given the freedom to run the company. Khan met with McMahon once per month during his hiatus, noting that McMahon was thrilled after the first month to have a break, but by December he was ready to return.   

This coincided with McMahon’s contact with the board of directors regarding a return when he first issued a letter to the board on December 20th.

Khan said that anyone who believed McMahon was really retiring doesn’t know him but that it was a wise move for McMahon to disappear for a few months and let the dust settle and applauded his return. That is a curious depiction when discussing the head of a company stepping down from a publicly traded company and essentially, stating it was done for public relations purposes with a return to power always expected.

Simmons brought up the praise for the improvement in the company during his absence and asked Khan if McMahon was disappointed the company did well without him, Khan deferred to Simmons and asked what he thought. Simmons asked if McMahon has properly addressed the allegations to the public and Khan explained McMahon doesn’t like doing press, noting the interviews with Bob Costas and Armen Keteyan, and therefore, didn’t speak about the allegations.

The return of former co-presidents George Barrios and Michelle Wilson to the board of directors, signals people that are familiar with the company, according to Khan. Simmons added that McMahon clearly wanted allies on the board and brought up the departures of Man Jit Singh and Ignace Lahoud, who Simmons noted voted against his return to the company (he didn’t point out it was a unanimous vote against McMahon’s return, including Nick Khan, who serves on the board).

Khan purposely avoids getting into the family dynamics of the McMahons and could not speak on the relationship between Vince and Stephanie including potential mitigating reasons behind Stephanie’s resignation nor was he aware of the issues between Vince and Shane McMahon last year. Khan praised the executive skills of Stephanie and added how significant the health issue was for Paul Levesque in 2021.

Simmons shared information he had heard about Stephanie meeting with a lot of people during Vince’s hiatus to put a positive face on the company, which Simmons concluded meant Vince was never coming back. Khan seemed impressed that Simmons was aware of that.

Khan is not concerned about further issues coming out on McMahon with Simmons specifically noting Rita Chatterton, who is seeking damages of nearly $12 million over an alleged rape that she stated occurred inside of a limo with McMahon on July 1986.

Simmons and Khan spoke about the success of the HBO documentary on Andre the Giant and McMahon’s involvement in the collaborative effort. Simmons stated that the Netflix series on Vince McMahon has been “less collaborative”.

Simmons asked about AEW and how they have become the most legitimate competitor for WWE in a long time. Khan responded by stating, “I’ve never met the kid, Tony Khan, seems like a nice kid. I don’t know him. I have met his Dad”. Khan attended a luncheon in 2021 with Stephanie McMahon and was seated next to Shahid Khan and came away extremely impressed with him and was complimentary of Tony’s father.

The conversation ended with an assessment of the sports rights landscape and how it pertains to WWE with a potential sale. When ESPN was brought up, Khan said it was possible WWE could land on the network adding that the crossover between the WWE and UFC audience is only 10-11 percent and therefore, WWE could bring a different audience to the ESPN+ streaming service.

Khan expects a “heightened look” at WWE given the lack of major sales he expects in the sports and media world this year. He called last week’s report on an imminent sale to the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia “100 percent fake” and a potential sale will start with the question of what brings the greatest value to the shareholder.

We will discuss this interview in further detail on Rewind-A-Dynamite tonight at 10 p.m. ET.

Will give this a full listen – maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised – but I just wanted to throw out that I’m tired of Bill Simmons “representing” wrestling fans in mainstream media. He watches some WWE and now AEW, but is woefully under-qualified to cover the business in the same way he covers the NFL or (in particular) the NBA.


Sounds like a good interview though.

Thanks for the report, very interesting.


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Dead behind the eyes.

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I haven’t listened - but have read various in depth reports.

Man… Does Nick Khan ever come off as a guy looking to stay in Vince’s good books as much as possible. Essentially saying Vince went away to take a vacation until he got bored. Gross stuff.

I agree with this in general even though I do like Simmons and listen to a lot of Ringer content. BUT he is the only “mainstream” person with the level of success needed to get a guest like Nick Khan on. Nick Khan isn’t going to do an interview with Meltzer or Pollock.

So I would rather NK do an interview with somebody like Simmons who has a bit of knowledge about the wrestling industry than go do an interview with for MSNBC where the interviewer knows about stocks but nothing about the industry.


As long as he doesn’t say “suflex” instead of suplex. Like nails on a chalkboard.

Thats false. Way false

“Vince has a track record of threatening journalists, ergo he believes he can assault women with impunity.”

Good work, Nick. Good work.

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Insane that Nick Khan’s current role is basically being a spin-doctor for a serial sexual abuser and alleged rapist, and spinning that his twisted was an expected and welcome thing in the company. Despite the fact that two weeks ago, he is documented as voting AGAINST Vince’s return.

I am sure Vince is back on TV for an appearance within the month. Maybe week.

I listened to the interview and I thought Simmons did a good job trying to pry something true out of Nick about the return of Vince McMahon even though Khan was determined not to. Simmons tried to ask the same questions about the backstage drama in different ways to try to get a different answer but no luck. Khan was not going to break kayfabe that “Vince is back and it’s great”.

He asked all the same questions I would ask and I think most wrestling journalists would have. But Nick was just able to spin and walk the tightrope of not saying anything controversial. Which is frustrating but unfortunately not surprising.


Just had a chance to listen to the whole thing. A few points stand out:

You can hear Bill trying not to torpedo the interview by phrasing his questions a certain way that won’t be too contentious. But I felt it made him sound a bit too dismissive of the reasons why Vince took his hiatus in the first place.

Nick Khan is both an absolute pro and a soulless corporate stooge. I can see why he’s been so successful and why Vince likes him.

Overall, the interview was better than I expected from Simmons’ end. But Khan did a very good job of making it as much of a “positive” WWE story as the situation allows. End of the day, if you have a brain and have followed this story at all, I don’t think anything was said to change your perception of WWE, for better or worse.

Compare the Ariel/HHH interview to this one and Simmons blew that one out of the water. This was actually interesting and newsworthy, the other one was WWE hype BS.

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Crazy how ariel’s hard hitting journalism skills take the night off when he does anything nick khan adjacent.

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Sorry but I’ve been on this for a while now. He left ESPN where he went to get PAID and subsequently realized to keep getting PAID like that he’d have to do the PRnews thing. Doesn’t mean some of his work isn’t still legit journalism and with integrity (mostly when it comes to AntiDanaWhite) but almost anything WWE related is basically just being a Plant for PR. He’s objectively paid for this so this isn’t a personal attack - it’s his job. He’s got several conflicts of interest and gets a pass because of how he handled things what, 10 years ago? Hell blame ESPN but nobody can call him out for being a paid WWE shill?

I had followed and admired Helwani since I found out an alumni of my school was making waves in combat sport media field that was emerging in the early 2010s. But since his partnership with WWE it’s been really off putting.

I know he’s a friend of POST, but it’s an important distinction to recognize evolution of one’s career and incentive structure and not provide the hall pass in perpetuity.

Also this:


I see what you all are saying, but what difference does it make when reporter 1 asks no hard questions, but reporter 2 does and gets BS fluff answers. Are we really “winning” as fans when we hear the BS answers.

This is why I have zero expectations to get anything of substance when someone in a position of power is interviewed, especially if they are being asked questions about their boss.

I equate it to when sports fans get all pissed off because a coach or a GM wont throw people under the bus in a press conference. All that stuff is PR.

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There is no winning. But if you’re not asking the hard questions, you are disrespecting the audience that you want/expect to read or watch or whatever. You can’t control their answers, but you don’t have to be complicit in their PR spin session.

As I mentioned above, Simmons stayed diplomatic to not lose the interview, plus he and Nick Khan are clearly friends. But at least he said “Rita Chatterton” and made Khan be the asshole rather than just lobbing complete softballs. It wasn’t perfect, but he looked like Walter Cronkite compared to the Ariel and HHH interview.


Again, I see what you are saying, but I personally pretty much got nothing out of both interviews. If an interviewer is asking tough questions and they know for a fact they aren’t going to get an answer, it just feels to me like they are pandering to the audience.

I actually preferred the Arial piece to be honest, nothing against Simmons, but at least with the Hunter interview it felt like real answers (for the most part) to fluff questions, the Simmons interview felt like BS answers to tougher questions. To each their own.

Reporters are paid to ask questions, they can’t control what answers they get. If they don’t ask then they aren’t doing the job

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