Bill Apter On Why Tony Khan Is Not A “Money Mark”
Wrestling Inc. – Bill Apter Interview
Conducted by Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman
Audio Link – https://audioboom.com/posts/7678745-finn-balor-becomes-wwe-nxt-champion-marty-jannetty-not-a-murderer-feat-bill-apter
On how Tony Khan has grown into the role of pro wrestling promoter with AEW:
I think he’s doing great. I mean, even though he’s out there at the scrums and everything, he’s not out there all the time. I think he’s comfortable enough to let the boys run their show, and he handles most of the office stuff. I know they talk to him about what they’re going to do and all this, but I think he trusts The Elite to know how to run the wrestling part of the business.
A lot of people who come along in wrestling and want to be promoters are what they call ‘money marks,’ and he’s got a lot of money and he used it for this company, but he’s not like the usual ‘money marks.’ He’s really sincerely interested in being who he is and not being the guy out in the forefront. He wants his wrestlers to be out there and make a successful product, and he’s done really, really well in his role and he’s a very pleasant person as well. He’s not intimidating.
On Tony Khan’s decision to “pause” Matt Hardy’s match against Sammy Guevara at AEW All Out:
I think it should have been stopped at that point. That’s my personal opinion,” Apter noted. “There’s some people who say, ‘go on, go on.’ I know Matt’s wife was beside herself, but Matt is that ultimate pro, of course where they show must go on.
You can break every bone in your body and have a brain aneurysm but let’s find some way to continue the show. If it were me, I probably would have stopped it and said that he’s been hurt, this match officially did not take place and when Matt Hardy is ready to come back, we will have this match again on Dynamite or somewhere else with the same stipulation.
Tony Khan was in a position where, I’ve never been in a position like this,” Apter stated. “We don’t know what’s going on backstage with the other people that run AEW, so everybody’s probably scrambling with that quick thought, ‘what are we gonna do?’ And it could go wrong. It could go right. It’s that split-second decision of something that you never thought would happen.
On how close he thinks the WWE and AEW war will get in the coming years:
It’s hard so hard to predict that,” Apter pointed out. “I mean as long as they keep their TV spot and they have compelling television, they’re going to keep going. They have to keep their product fresh. That’s a key to this is keeping the product fresh, and not just for, ‘oh look who they got from WWE,’ but I love the fact that they’re bringing people like Eddie Kingston and all the indie challenges. I thought that was brilliant. I really, really liked that because they grabbed a hold of the indie fans, but WWE, if they’re getting the older fans, they need a way to keep them as well.
So that’s also a key demo. To me, nobody really caters to the fan in my age group or 20 years younger than me. They’re all looking to grab that younger key demo, but people my age who spend money too and we buy product and we collect. I have pitched many times to the WWE and other places to let me take all those hundreds of interviews I have with all the people from the ’70s and ’80s, and let’s use those for a podcast.