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Tony Khan with Zach Gelb

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb
The Truth Network Radio
February 10, 2023 6:22 pm

Tony Khan with Zach Gelb

Zach Gelb Show / Zach Gelb

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February 10, 2023 6:22 pm

Tony Khan drops by the Zach Gelb Show on Radio Row. 


All right, welcome back inside Radio Row. This is pretty cool.

We got a ownership in the house now with the Jacksonville Jaguars and AEW and it's Tony Khan. Tony, how are you? I'm great, Zach. Thanks for having me on.

Well, I appreciate you coming on. So I'm very interested about AEW. So like I grew up big WWE fan, right? John Cena, Batista, Rey Mysterio with the 619. I keep on hearing about AEW.

So tell me a little bit more about it. Well, first of all, if you grew up as a fan of pro wrestling, a lot of the top stars you're familiar with are in AEW. We have great names. The first ever AEW World Champion and he's still one of the top names in AEW today is Chris Jericho.

Oh, wow. Walls of Jericho. My friends and I, we did the Walls of Jericho as a kid to one another. Not a smart idea. It hurts.

It really hurts. And you see Chris Jericho apply the Walls of Jericho every Wednesday on TBS and every Friday on TNT like tonight on TNT. And he's also the host of our show on Friday nights doing commentary and he's in wrestling shape.

Chris lost 30 pounds last year and is in the best shape he's been in in so many years. And now he's wrestling at a top level. So to have a big name like Chris Jericho, Sting is still wrestling at a high level. Sting and one of my favorite wrestlers of all time, the Hardee's. Oh, really? Christian Cage.

Yeah. Big names like that. And also Samoa Joe. So many top names have come in in recent years that I'm a big fan of. Jon Moxley arrived with a great reputation, but we also have the best homegrown stars in AEW. The world champion MJF, the women's world champion Jamie Hayter, Jungle Boy, the acclaimed The Guns. So many of the best young wrestlers and people that develop their reputation on a national level and a worldwide level by wrestling on AEW on Wednesdays and Fridays.

Now, excuse me if this is not accurate. Is Max Caster still with you guys? Max Caster is not only with us, Max Caster is a huge part of AEW. He was a world tag team champion and in fact, the most controversial thing in pro wrestling.

Oh, yeah. He lost the World Tag Team Championship on Wednesday night and the final moments of the show in very controversial fashion. You know Billy Gunn?

No. Billy Gunn from wrestling. He's a great wrestler. He's become a mentor to Max Caster and his partner Anthony Bowens.

They're known as the acclaimed and it was a heartbreaking moment for myself and many wrestling fans when the acclaimed and Max Caster specifically lost the World Tag Team Championship on AEW Wednesday night Dynamite this past week. Well, the reason why I bring up Max Caster because I did not know that Max Caster was this big wrestling star. When he was at CW Post doing radio, I was an intern out of high school and that's where I found out about the rapping brilliance of Max Caster because his intro was I'm going to try to remember is like Pioneer Sports Broadcaster, like tune it up with Max Caster or something like that. And it was a minute 30 just rap to start his show Max. I have not seen Max Caster in years, but he was a good dude and now I see him plastered all over the news. It's pretty incredible. So through the pandemic in the early lockdown, we were doing shows out of Daily's Place and I never stopped.

We never took a week off. We were in the outdoor amphitheater. And so we kept doing wrestling shows and Max Caster was a huge part of it and Max came in originally as an extra. He was unknown and I learned a bit more about him and I really liked him and I had some star potential. I had a lot of potential and also I saw that rap the skills you talked about on Twitter.

Oh really? And I thought wouldn't it be cool if Max did the rap as an entrance and there was another wrestler who was like an extra at the time. Neither of them were featured on television at all, but I thought they both had a lot of potential.

His name was Anthony Bowens and the two of them together. They've made an awesome tag team. I put them together called The Acclaimed and suggested to Max. You should do your rap as your entrance every week and tailor it to your opponents.

And that's what he's done. And it's how Max and Anthony together. They've built an amazing bond and become one of the greatest tag teams in the world.

And I think the most popular tag team in pro wrestling today. Other than your role, how did you become so passionate with AEW? Well, there was a great opportunity to start a wrestling promotion. You know, my father had purchased the Jacksonville Jaguars and Fulham Football Club in the Premier League and I'd been working in statistics.

I actually started the statistical analysis group at the Jaguars in 2012 when my dad bought the team and that's been my main focus. And through those opportunities, I've made a lot of connections in the world of sports and television and in Hollywood through my business out there. I've made a lot of connections and I became friends with the president of TBS and TNT and I suggested we should start a wrestling business and have it on TBS and TNT and there's great opportunity there. When I was a kid, TBS and TNT had WCW. They had wrestling on many years and now that's what we brought. Every Wednesday we're on TBS and every Friday, like tonight, we're on TNT and AEW has become a worldwide brand.

And that was kind of my idea to start it was to capture a lot of that national attention because I believe there should be a challenger wrestling company, a second major wrestling promotion fighting for those eyeballs. I'll say this. We had Trevor Lawrence on the other day, Tony Khan. So impressive.

Really impressive. Like he's obviously been in the spotlight for so many years, but being someone that for three years was unquestioned going to be the next great guy first year. We know what happened with the coaching. It wasn't the best in the world and it felt like a lost year to see the year that he had this year. I thought the Jaguars are one of the better feel-good stories in the league.

Absolutely. Doug Peterson came into Jacksonville and Doug Peterson's one of the best leaders and one of the best minds in football. And I think what makes him such a great leader is great mind and the respect he commands and also he's a great person and it really the team rallied around Doug and to have Trevor Lawrence one of the best quarterback prospects of my lifetime come in and to have a coach for him with the experience and the skills of Doug Peterson. It's made all the difference in the world and from top to bottom what Doug did leading the entire organization to some of the best comeback wins I've ever seen. So many of them, especially the home game. The playoff game was insane. It was amazing, but never did I stop believing because Doug and the team had come back so many times. Look at all the games, whether it was the Cowboys game at home, the Ravens at home, the Titans at home for the division title. The team came back over and over and you know, when we scored at the end of half, so we got in and cut it to 20 points down from 27.

I thought we had to get the ball rolling. Yeah, it was good. Well, I was around Doug in Philly and I covered the Eagles when they won the Super Bowl Super Bowl 52 and I'll never forget because they had so many injuries that year. It was ridiculous how they won and he would do this like off the record media availability on Fridays after press conferences where it's like free open with the media and he went around the room and he goes, I know what all you guys are saying. You're all thinking the Falcons are going to win and he goes, I legitimately don't see what you guys are seeing and I called my friend who's a big Eagles fan and I go, I'm going to be so wrong. I go, Doug Peterson just had so much conviction going into that one. I go, he's going to win the game and then they ended up going on and win the Super Bowl that year. Absolutely, absolutely. And what Doug's come, the conviction, just like what you're talking about, the belief, that's what he said in Jacksonville. And when we were two and six, we were three and seven, Doug said, this is going to come down to the last week and when you're three and seven, it doesn't seem that way to a lot of people, but everyone believed it because Doug said it and people believe what Doug says because he's a great leader and everyone respects him.

Two more that I got to ask you, Tony Khan, before we let you run. So what happened to your cell phone? I saw that you were celebrating after the wild card round victory and the cell phone fell out of your pocket.

Did you ever get it back? Yeah, I was so excited. Actually, Luke Fortner about five seconds later handed it to me. So that was cool. Gotcha, because I noticed that.

That was like a big thing on social media. The phone fell out of the pocket. They go, Tony Khan doesn't even realize that he lost his cell phone.

I got it about 10 to 15 seconds. And then the other thing like long term visions for you, like I'm talking about like 10 years from now. What do you see the Jaguars and where do you see AW at?

That's great questions. I think with the Jaguars, hopefully Doug Peterson and Trent still doing it. I love working with them every day and I hope that this group of players I had some of them can still be there with that's an eternity in the NFL to be with a team for a decade, but we have some great young players that really could do it.

And if they've done it, it's a good sign. It means hopefully great things and you know, with the young core of the team we have. I just hope we can keep building on the success that Doug led the organization to this year and keep that great feeling because right now there's momentum and also it's just really positive.

Everyone loves coming to work and everyone loves playing for Doug and working for Doug. And then one more thing just working with AW and then the Jaguars. Do you use things that you learn from working with the Jaguars and put them in AW and then vice versa?

Yeah, I think so. I think especially when it comes to the media side as far as TV, the NFL is the greatest TV business, the greatest media business in the entire world. So absolutely when I was going to start up AW that helped me a lot and I learned a lot from that and you know, AW I think hopefully we can keep growing. Like I said, just be having the opportunity to start from scratch and instantly within, you know, the first year we launched to have the show on TNT and then to get expanded onto TBS. It was huge for us. And now the show we have tonight on TNT, Friday Night Rampage and the show we have Wednesday on TBS, Wednesday Night Dynamite, they're on in over 150 countries worldwide and just expanded again with new media deals this week. So I think worldwide expansion is important for us, but hopefully we can continue our strong domestic success and I love working with the people there and I think that's the common theme. Just trying to keep it a really positive fun place for people to work and make it fun for the fans. So when is AW coming back to New York?

Just wondering. Well, we'll be... I got to check it out. Like you've done a really good job selling this for like I'm not going to tell you that I'm a huge fan and everything. I haven't seen it, but you've made me want to go watch. Well, I would love to have you at UBS Arena in April, we'd love to have you. Please come on. Danny's with me and we'll put that together and you're going to be there hopefully and we'll see you at Wednesday Night Dynamite.

It'll be on TBS in April. That sounds good to me. Good luck, continued success. We appreciate you doing this. Thanks for having me on. I'm heading out. We got a big show on TNT tonight and I appreciate you having me on in the meantime and being on with you. Thanks, Zach. You're the man. You got it.

Thanks so much. Podcast the biggest game of the year. The Super Bowl is on Odyssey and Westwood one brings it to you streaming live for free Sunday, February 12th on the Odyssey app.

The Eagles have been the NFC's best team touchdown Travis Kelsey. It's the Eagles versus the Chiefs Kansas City Chiefs of Philadelphia Eagles are going to the Super Bowl again. Catch all the action from Westwood one your Super Bowl your Odyssey get in the game and download the free Odyssey app today. The biggest game of the year. The Super Bowl is on Odyssey and Westwood one brings it to you streaming live for free Sunday, February 12th on the Odyssey app. The Eagles have been the NFC's best team touchdown Travis Kelsey. It's the Eagles versus the Chiefs Kansas City Chiefs of Philadelphia Eagles are going to the Super Bowl again. Catch all the action from Westwood one your Super Bowl your Odyssey get in the game and download the free Odyssey app today.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-02-10 20:45:09 / 2023-02-10 20:51:12 / 6

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