JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – When Tony Khan revealed in January he was founding a professional wrestling promotion, one of his goals was to secure a TV deal.
Five months later, it looks like Khan has found his match.
WarnerMedia announced Wednesday it’s teaming up with All Elite Wrestling (AEW) to televise weekly wrestling matches in prime time on TNT, stream them online and air special events on pay-per-view.
The promotion will debut its first event, DOUBLE OR NOTHING, on May 25 at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena. Headlining the card is a main event featuring Kenny Omega and longtime WWE star Chris Jericho.
Weekly matches are set to begin later this year.
Khan, the son of billionaire and Jaguars owner Shad Khan, has reportedly sunk tens of millions of dollars in to the new venture, which is billed as a more athletic, less-scripted alternative to the storyline-driven drama and gimmicks found in mainstream pro wrestling.
“AEW is about more than wrestling,” Khan said. “It’s about a movement fueled by wrestling fans who have been underserved or perhaps even disappointed by what the industry has produced in recent years.”
Michael Quigley, executive vice president of commercial operations and content strategy for TBS and TNT, called AEW a “talent-forward” league with an innovative approach that resonates with wrestling fans.
“It is high-adrenaline, gripping entertainment and we can’t wait to bring it to fans everywhere with this game-changing new business,” Quigley said.
It's too early to say whether AEW will eventually be able to compete with the heavyweights, but Khan's brainchild is trending in the right direction.