Tony Khan discusses the impact C.M. Punk has made on AEW


Tony Khan called criticism of C.M. Punk’s impact on AEW as a company “ridiculous.”

In a PWTorch VIP interview with Wade Keller, Khan spoke in-depth about Punk joining the company, his impact on numbers, and his slower integration in the company with Khan noting that he’s held back some of the marquee matches Punk could do.

“I see the trend, our numbers are so much better than were going into the last few months and there’s been an unquestionable lift since C.M. Punk came in. For some reason I see people trying to discredit Punk all the time, that he hasn’t been a huge lift to our business, and he has been. He’s only scratching the surface. I have intentionally, in working with him, tried to hold back the biggest marquee things, biggest marquee matches and stories. We’ve been getting Punk reintegrated, building him a winning streak and I think it’s worked great. Again, when you look at the rating our first Wednesday back, that as a really strong number last week and he was such a huge part of it, kicking the show off and wrestling through the entire first segment in a great match. So, he’s just lifted our business so much and I see people constantly with really petty stuff trying to discredit him and its ridiculous because he’s done so much for us.

Khan also touted Punk’s influence on company metrics including PPV numbers, ratings, merchandise sales, and digital growth.

“Between the huge number we did for All Out and the massive number we did for The First Dance Rampage and the insane merchandise sales we’ve done since he came in,” Khan said. “The big lift in our subscription video services, we’ve seen a huge rise in subscribers to our international streaming since he came in and I just see tons of business opportunities.”

C.M. Punk is going to face Eddie Kingston at Full Gear on Saturday night. This will be Punk’s second PPV match since returning after a seven year hiatus. Other matches on the Full Gear card include Kenny Omega vs. Adam Page for the AEW World Championship and Britt Baker vs. Tay Conti for the AEW Women’s World Championship.


You can listen to the full interview and at the same time support us on Patreon with the $6.99 tier or higher.

Tony Khan agreed to be part of christening the first week of Wade Keller’s new daily series this month called “Keller’s Focus on AEW” featuring the latest news, rumors, TV show analysis, notable social media posts, media interview highlights, on-site correspondents, guest analysts, and more – anything regarding AEW. It’s posted every afternoon for full VIP members and Patreon supporters (Tier 2 or higher). It can be your new daily listen on your commute home from work or at the gym.


You will get instant access to the full Tony Khan interview and all “Focus on AEW” daily podcasts so far, plus ad-free versions of the Wade Keller Podcasts & Post-shows + the PWTorch Dailycasts.

These topics are covered…

  • Is Cody Rhodes really, truly committed to remaining a babyface or is there storyline wiggle room to change course?
  • Does Tony think Cody getting a mixed response is a good thing, citing John Cena and Roman Reigns as examples of top stars who went through that?
  • Tony responds to framing C.M. Punk’s impact on business as a disappointment so far
  • Does Tony think he could have gotten more out of Adam Cole, Bryan Danielson, Ruby Soho, and C.M. Punk if their debuts were spread out?
  • What is his COVID protocol within AEW? Has he been vaccinated?
  • More on the Jon Moxley situation and his comments in front of the crowd after Dynamite on Wednesday about what a tough week it’s been for him.
  • Does moving Miro into Moxley’s place cause a ripple effect on his booking plans for Miro?
  • His reaction to WWE roster cuts and his mindset on the inevitable roster cuts he’ll need to make eventually.
  • Is Cody being booed, Punk’s impact on business, Danielson-Cole-Punk, COVID protocols, Moxley situation, WWE cuts
  • How does Tony decide what cities and arenas to bring TV and PPVs to
  • Reflecting on the success of AEW at arenas across the country in first two years on tour
  • Tony’s thoughts on the viewership drop this week for Dynamite
  • How much All Out PPV growth does Tony attribute to C.M. Punk’s first match in AEW
  • What percentage of time does he stick to his long-term plans versus changing for various reasons
  • The evolution of the roles of the Executive V.P.s – Cody Rhodes, Matt & Nick Jackson, Kenny Omega – behind the scenes, especially in the creative booking process
  • Is there an EVP most closely aligned with his creative vision?
  • Who else is involved in the weekly process other than EVPs?


“If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend you sign up to PWTorch VIP. I’ve just listened to Wade Keller’s interview with Tony Khan for VIP’s only and what a listen. Wade didn’t hold back with the questions and Tony didn’t avoid anything. Fantastic interview.” (Ciaran James)

“Amazing interview. I don’t know that I’ve heard a promotor speak so freely and openly about plans, talent, etc.” (Joel Tesch)

“The Tony Khan interview with Wade Keller was worth three months pay of a VIP subscription to PWTorch. Very interesting and telling. Thanks Wade and Tony. Great insights and informative.” (Bryan Koval)

“Part one of this interview was fantastic. Can’t wait to listen to part two.” (Josiah from Canada)

“Heard both parts today Wade, very eye opening.  It was amazing to me how forthright Tony was overall with his booking strategy, covid, ratings, all the recent debuts, etc.” (Frank Peteani)

“I love the idea of a daily ‘Focus on AEW’ series. I also enjoy the other AEW podcasts from PWTorch. Hearing Tony Kahn respond to your recent remarks on the impact of C.M. Punk was a particular highlight! Thanks for doing this.” (Steve G.)

“Long time VIP subscriber. I’m checking in to compliment you for the amazing job you have been doing. I have slowly stopped watching WWE over the years and now I only watch AEW. Therefore, hearing more of your analysis and opinions on AEW happenings is definitely a welcomed addition and something that’s gonna push me to stay a VIP subscriber for longer and longer. Thank you for all you do for us, VIP subscribers, as you add so much to my daily life with all of your great content (especially with The Fix, which has been a stable of my life for the past 5 years and counting).” (Danny from Turin, Italy)

“I’m almost done listening to Tony Khan be interviewed by you, and I just want to say thanks for your professionalism and your fantastic interview style. It was nice to hear Tony Khan present himself as a leader of a company, and be asked serious questions, which he then took seriously and answered well… You should be very proud you brought this side of Tony out, as you kept him on track and made both of you look great in the process.  He should want to come on with you every six weeks or so, as this is the most professional he has ever sounded.” (Nick Rini from Long Island, N.Y.)

If you prefer to read the interview, it’s also being transcribed for our supporters as part of the weekly PWTorch Newsletter.


(NOTE: You can also gain access to the new “Focus on AEW” series including the Tony Khan interview with the traditional full VIP membership including all of our podcasts, an ad-free version of this website, and our 30+ year library of podcasts, radio shows, and newsletters dating back to the 1980s. For that option, CLICK HERE.)

CATCH-UP: Major segment announced for next week’s AEW Dynamite

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