AEW’s lead Investor Shahid “Shad” Khan is joining the chorus of voices who are saying that there is no “official” competition between AEW and WWE.
Khan, who is the father of AEW President Tony Khan, recently spoke about AEW during Yahoo! Finances’ All Markets Summit: Generational Opportunities.
According to him, AEW isn’t competing with WWE, but they are seeking to tap into a market that WWE isn’t reaching.
“In the golden age of wrestling during the late ’90s, there were 10 million fans. Now It’s down to 2 million. So we’re tapping into fans who were not engaged and quite frankly the younger fan who never got quite into it. Competition is good for everybody, but it’s very important for AEW to do our own thing,” said Khan.
According to Khan, AEW is his son Tony’s idea who is a lifelong wrestling fan.
“It was his idea, his passion, his drive as a lifelong wrestling fan — so I’ve supported him financially, said Khan.
“He kept talking about it, that we ought to do it, and here are the reasons why we should do it. I kept stress testing the idea, and then I struck a check to fund it because if you’re going to do it, it’s gotta be right. That was the most important thing. You don’t get a second chance to make a first impression, but his idea, his passion, and his drive, and it’s off to a great start,” he added.
Khan, who owns the Jacksonville Jaguars, also spoke a bit about the difference between football and wrestling business. According to him, it comes down to talent and where to find that talent.
“That’s the question I had for Tony,” said Khan. “His point to me was that the big difference here is there’s a huge amount of talent that’s on the street. Whereas in football and the NFL, the top talent is already there.”