In an interview with PWInsider, Tony Khan discussed how the FTW Title ended up being used on AEW TV, as well as how TNT executives have told him that the thing they want him to focus on is the 18-49 audience. Highlights are below.
On the idea to use the FTW Title in AEW: “Well, it was a few weeks ago. Taz told me he had it. And immediately, that’s when the idea struck me to do this. Then I asked him to bring it down and get it down here. And Taz’s son, Tyler, who is a great kid, traveled down with it and came down and got tested, and joined us in the bubble. Tyler brought it and then we had it. Taz presenting it to Brian was a really important part of the presentation. I think Taz and Brian, it was good that it wasn’t the first thing they did together, because they really had become associated. Brian was always supposed to debut in that casino ladder match, as soon as we got his diagnosis that he was going to be out until May. This thing had been planned for a long time for Brian to make the big intro, and make the big splash, and challenge Moxley. Brian and Taz, they’ve established a rapport on television. When Taz told me he still had the belt, it was a perfect thing to add to the story I thought. And so, a couple weeks ago, when it came up, I really jumped on it. Once I found out he had it, and we were able to use it, I wanted to make it a part of the story. I wouldn’t have done it without his blessing. I mean, he’s the one who told me he had it. So once he said he still had possession of it, and I checked, and we’re cleared to use it, then, at that point, I was like, “This is, to me, almost like a no brainer. It adds so much to the story, to the presentation of Brian. It’s so much credibility, the FTW title.” I grew up watching ECW, as you know, and that belt meant a lot. Even though it’s not a recognized championship, when it was defended, or when you saw it, it felt like it was part of the presentation of Taz as one of the top wrestlers in the sport. And I think it can be the same thing for Brian Cage. So I was really excited about it, as soon as Taz told me he still had that belt, and then when I realized that we could use it. It was a few weeks ago.”
On how the rating in the 18-49 demographic is what TNT executives have told him they care most about: “All I know is that I’ve been dealing with TNT executives for two years now, and talking about this, and pushing this idea. And we’ve been talking for over a year about Dynamite, and the entire time the one thing they’ve told me that I need to consistently do is put up audiences in the 18 to 49 demographic. I just thought it was important for people to realize what we’re judged on, because if people want to say this was successful, or this wasn’t successful, it’s in the eye of the beholder.”