AEW News: How creative decisions and hiring will work behind the scenes, Best Friends update, new additions to the roster, more (w/Radican’s Analysis)

By Sean Radican, PWTorch Columnist

Tony Khan gives update on Kenny Omega
Kenny Omega (photo provided to PWTorch by AEW, credit Al Powers)


-AEW’s decision making behind the scenes for each division will be shared by executive vice presidents Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson, Cody Rhodes, and Kenny Omega, and president Tony Khan PWTorch has learned from multiple sources. Other people working behind the scenes for AEW will have input as well in the decision making process for each division. The lone exception is AEW’s women’s division, which will be headed up by chief brand officer Brandi Rhodes, Kenny Omega, and Tony Khan.

PWTorch has learned that AEW president Tony Khan will have final say over everything in the promotion including wins, losses, and who AEW hires. Although Khan has final say, it will very much be a collaboration behind the scenes between Khan, The Young Bucks, Cody, Brandi, and Omega.

Radican’s Analysis: I had been under the impression that Cody was in charge of the heavyweight division, The Young Bucks were in charge of the tag team division and that Brandi Rhodes was in charge of the women’s division previously, but I was able to get some clarification recently on how everyone involved at the top of AEW management will be involved in the decision making process behind the scenes.

It sounds like a very good plan to have everyone working together and pitching ideas for all of the divisions, with the lone exception being the women’s division. I think that it’s great that Omega is involved behind the scenes in the women’s division given his familiarity with all of the great female talent in Japan. With WWE signing almost all of the big female names on the independents over the last couple of years, AEW has their work cut out for them to build up the division without the benefit of a lot of buzz-worthy indie names.

As for the other divisions, I’m exciting to see what the AEW creative team is able to do with a mix of known and unknown names spread across the roster. They did a great job at times of creating compelling storylines for themselves on Being the Elite, which translated over into NJPW and ROH, but instead of focusing on six or seven people, AEW will have to produce compelling storylines for a roster of between 30-40 wrestlers.

The Young Bucks, Kenny Omega, and Cody Rhodes all have great creative minds, so I’m excited what they are able to do with an entire roster to come up with ideas for. The real unknown is how Tony Khan’s contributions to creative will help the roster. He’s a lifelong fan and he’s set on bringing in a sports-oriented theme to the promotion in terms of presentation and wins and losses being important along with statistics.

Other promotions have tried to focus on making wins and losses important in the past and have dropped the idea entirely because it becomes very difficult to introduce that element into a promotion and stick with it, especially with injuries factoring unexpectedly and the creative direction having to change unexpectedly due to outside factors or something not working and having to go in a different direction.

-According to multiple sources, AEW had targeted Trent Barreta and Chuck Taylor as additions to the tag division for a long period time. According to sources, Trent indicated to AEW a long time ago that he was ready to finish up his commitments with NJPW and sign with them.

-AEW recently announced the additions of Jungle Boy and Jimmy Havoc to the roster, although they did not appear at the Double or Nothing ticket announcement last week.

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