Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2023/11/19/tony-khan-at-aew-full-gear-press-conference-ppv-buys-trending-above-wrestledream-rousey-is-not-signed-rules-set-for-continental-classic/
AEW President Tony Khan fielded questions after Saturday night’s Full Gear pay-per-view.
● He said the PPV buys for Full Gear were trending above those for WrestleDream in October and were “well over” 100,000 buys. Attendance at the Kia Forum was over 13,000, which he said was a Full Gear record.
We had over 13,000, I can confirm, and well over 100,000 on pay per view. And it was the biggest attendance in the history of Full Gear, which is really exciting because this is an event we’ve been doing since our first year. And the kind of pay per view numbers I was just about to say that we do, when we launched, nobody had been doing this as a challenger brand in wrestling since the ’90s. And now we’ve been doing it for over four years consistently. And the really great thing is we’ve expanded the pay per view calendar and continue to see it.
● On the Continental Classic, he noted that the scoring would be the same as a soccer league: 3 points for a win, 1 point for a draw, no points for a loss. No one will be allowed at ringside during matches to avoid any interference. The winner will become Triple Crown Champion by winning the tournament, Eddie Kingston’s ROH World Championship, and NJPW STRONG Openweight Title. Those championships will be combined into a new single title.
New Japan has cleared this — Eddie is their champion, and New Japan is aware. The winner of the AEW Continental Classic will be the New Japan STRONG Openweight Champion, they’ll be the Ring of Honor World Champion, and they will be the AEW Continental Champion. So we are unifying all three titles. It will be a Triple Crown, and forming a Triple Crown of three titles, it’ll be the Ring of Honor World title, the New Japan Strong Openweight title, and this tournament.
● Khan said Ronda Rousey had not signed with AEW, adding that he had thought it would be great to get her involved with Ring of Honor after her appearance on the Wrestling Revolver show. He added that he would like to have her back in future.
Ronda was happy to come here and she was great. The crowd was really excited to see her. And it was a great match. We’d love to have her back sometime…She’s a local. She lives nearby and that really helped make it possible. So anytime it’s convenient, we’d love to have her back because she was tremendous. It was a great match.
● Khan said he had been talking with Will Ospreay since recently getting permission from New Japan Pro Wrestling. He added that the deal was only finalized this past week. Noting Ospreay’s guest appearances for the AEW, he said he had been keen to keep him “in our family.”
Will Ospreay signing is a really big deal. I thought it was something really important to get done to have him at Full Gear and to be able to say, to be able to explain, he is going to finish out his commitments in New Japan, but he will be with us. And again, ahead of the Wembley on-sale, I thought it was important and also a great surprise for the fans here at the pay-per-view tonight.
● Asked about Mercedes Moné, Khan said she would be “a great addition” to AEW. He has engaged in great conversations with her, he added.
She was at AEW All In, and it was great having her as a part of the show. I have a ton of respect for Mercedes Moné. We’d love to have her anytime in AEW. And I think she’s had great experience also with our partner, New Japan Pro Wrestling. And so she would be a great addition to AEW anytime and we’d always love to have her here. I have a ton of respect for her and have had great conversations with her and I think the world of her.
● Khan said Bryan Danielson’s orbital bone injury had turned out not to be as serious as first thought, adding that he initially thought the veteran would be out of action for longer.
It’ll be great having him back at AEW because we’ve really missed him. You know, he couldn’t even travel to work backstage with us. Ever since he had that injury, he hasn’t been able to fly. But thankfully, it turned out to be not as serious as we’d feared at one point. You know, we thought he might be out even longer. And that’s one of the real blessings.
● A date is not yet fixed for AEW Revolution, which will mark Sting’s retirement. Khan said that Sting was one of the greatest people he had ever known.
When Sting came to AEW, he had not had the great sendoff, in my opinion. It wasn’t the right way for Sting to end his career. And now in AEW, we’re writing the final chapters of his career and now we’re about to find out how it ends. And it’s really exciting because when Sting came to AEW in 2020, nobody, I don’t believe, expected he would have this three-year run and all these amazing matches.
Sting is one of the greatest legends and one of the greatest people I’ve ever known or worked with. And tonight was a great way to end the California chapter of Sting’s career. And Sting is an LA guy. He’s a hometown guy. So for him to have that hometown moment, it was a big deal.