Interview highlights: Allin on directing street fight, Hangman Page on match vs. Matt Hardy, Wight on signing with AEW, Khan on Ethan Page, Christian, post-main event explosion (w/Radican questions)

By Sean Radican, PWTorch columnist

Big Show (art credit Travis Beaven)

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AEW held a post-Revolution PPV scrum with the media featuring Darby Allin, Hangman Page, Paul White, and Tony Khan. Below are the highlights of their interviews:

Darby Allin

Sean Radican: What have you learned from working this program with veterans like Sting and Tazz?

Darby Allin: Darby says Sting and Tazz have trusted him and they’ve trusted him for over a year now. Darby said they trusted his vision and didn’t second guess his directing when it came to filming the street fight with him and Sting taking on Cage and Starks. He said it means a lot that Tony Khan trusted him and let him execute his whole vision for the match.

Darby is asked about what it’s like working with Sting. He said it’s great. It’s an honor to be part of Sting’s story.

Darby is asked about the cinematic match. Darby said it took him weeks to produce the match. He said it was a great experience. He said he dropped out of film school, so it was nice to see his vision come true and it was an honor to be part of the match.

Darby is asked about facing Scorpio Sky for the TNT Championship this weekend. He wants to remind everyone he’s the champion. He said a lot of work went into the tag match and now his attention turns to Scorpio Sky.

Darby is asked what it was like to get to know Sting. He said having him come into AEW and having a lot of trust and faith in him meant the world. To have this big blowoff meant everything. He said Sting trusted him with his career.

Paul Wight

Paul is asked about watching the PPV backstage. He said it was great storytelling and he liked how the PPV built. He liked the finish of the tag tournament. He said those are very hard matches to have and he thought everyone got a shine that needed it.

He said he was impressed with Darby Allin and hopes to work with him one day. Says maybe he will be heel since he’s turned so many time.

Wight praised the main event and said it was intricate how a lot of things were protected like Moxley kicking the ropes to get out of the pin from the One Winged Angel. Wight said the ref did a great job of selling the action of what was going on. He said they knocked it out of the park and you could hear the people backstage reacting to different parts of it. Wight said he’s had some hardcore matches, but this one beats his thumbtack match.

Wight is asked about being in a new locker room and how its different from WWE. He said anytime you start somewhere new its refreshing. He said the one thing that is different in AEW is the support the talent has for each other. Wight said its a team where everyone is trying to get over and everyone is trying to make the best possible product for the fans. He mentioned he hasn’t seen a locker room with this kind of energy in a long time. Wight said he talked to Jericho, Cody, and Billy Gunn before he came over and they told him how different it is. “I feel like a young kid all over again.”

Wight is asked if any part of his decision to go to AEW had to do with some of the extracurricular activities he could do outside of wrestling. He said being with WWE for so long he built some great partnerships. He said he loves working with Special Olympics. Wight said even thought they are teamed with WWE, he will still be involved with the Special Olympics. He said Tony Khan understands what he brings to the table and he can only help AEW. He said he has the freedom to do movies, TV, and community work. Wight said before those were limited but now he’s not competing with people around him for those opportunities. He said he has positive reinforcement behind him now. He said it’s still competitive, but its supportive.

A.J. Awesome asks Wight who are some wrestlers he wants to face. He said he wants to face Darby Allin. He said he loves his presence and character. He said they’re opposites in size and he’d love to work with him. Wight also mentions Omega, Gunn, Archer, Luchasaurus, Cage, Wardlow. He said they’re all big guys he could work with and do the best he could being in the ring working with them. Wight said he could help them experience a different pace. Wight also mentioned that he loves performing, but he also loves making the business better.

Wight is asked about first making contact with AEW and is this the type of thing that he gave Vince McMahon the heads up. He said Vince called him and wished him luck when it was announced he was going to AEW. Wight said there’s no anger or animosity. He said it came down to contract negotiations and opportunity. He said he needs a fresh start. Wight said he followed the rules while he was under contract. He said he came to terms with a mutual dissolution of services when he left WWE.

Wight said he was glad to earn the opportunity to talk to Tony Khan and convince him he could be an asset to AEW. He said he went to Jacksonville and met with Khan at 10 at night. He said one of his passions is commentary and bringing his experiences from the ring to help get the talent over more. He said it was also an opportunity for him to work with fresh talent. He said leaving WWE was scary. He said to leave that stock he had built up in WWE was scary and he had to put his big boy pants on and give it a shot. He said he hopes the AEW fans will be happy as well.

Hangman Page

Page is asked about working with Matt Hardy. Page said he’s known Matt since he was watching him as a kid on TV along with his brother Jeff. He said he met Matt years ago. He said Matt is a different person now. He said doing the PPV match and see that he can still go felt good.

Page is asked about new talent in AEW like Ethan Page, Christian Cage, and Paul White. He was asked if he expects to work with them in the future. Page said Paul and Christian bring year and years of tenure he can use. He said Ethan Page is incredible and got in good shape.

Page is asked about his chemistry with Dark Order. Page said he’s having the most fun he’s had in a long time. Page said they all have good ideas and it’s great to work with those guys. Page said they’re all people that were undervalued and underappreciated. They used every bit of creativity and passion and determination and wit to find themselves and channel it into something positive.

Page is asked about Brodie Lee passing away and how it has effected the locker room. Page said its incredibly difficult knowing the situation from the get go and for weeks and weeks and weeks hoping for some new, but ultimately losing Brodie. He said he didn’t know Brodie, but his heart goes out to everyone in the locker room that did and spent years and years with him. He said Lee was a tremendous person. He said the show goes on. Page said Brodie didn’t have a funeral. He had a celebration. He feels like he didn’t deserve to get to pay tribute to Lee, but he’s glad he did.

Page is asked about what he’s going to do with all the money. Page said the money is about what he expected. He said he’s going to pay a little on the mortgage and he needs to buy a lawnmower as well. Page said in all seriousness he’s seen the people in Jacksonville in difficult situations and he doesn’t want the money. He said to give it to people that need it.

Izzy asks if Page is joining the Dark Order. Page said they have a mutual understanding and he’s done the group thing and it didn’t work out well for him. Page said they can have each other’s back without being in the same group together.

Tony Khan

Sean Radican: Ethan Page rose up the indies and really leveraged social media and showed he’s a great heel promo. He continued that work wrestling on Impact. What does Page bring to the table for AEW?

Tony Khan: Khan said Ethan Page is something they’ve had up their sleeves for a while. He said they plan to feature him. He said it’s been challenging and they were thin on heels and you saw seven heels turn overnight when the Dark Order turned face after Brodie Lee’s passing. He said we will see Page make a big splash in AEW. He said Page is capable of having great matches and is a great promo.

Talk about the pacing of the show. It seems like a long show can drag at times, but this show really hit on all cylinders from start to finish.

Tony is asked about Moxley and Omega after the match. He said both guys are great. He said neither guy came out with a serious injury. Tony said the bomb going off at the end didn’t hurt anything that he built a dud.

Tony Khan is asked about what Darby Allin brings to the table. He said Darby is a gifted young filmmaker. He said working with him on the match was a pressure. Khan said Darby did 90% of the match and he effectively co-directed it. Khan said everyone gave a great effort in the match and Darby wanted to create a great spectacle. Khan said sometimes Darby had to do something insane twice to get the shot he wanted.

Tony said they have already explained what happened with the explosion. He said they posted something from Moxley after the event. Moxley cut a promo said Omega couldn’t build an exploding ring worth a s–t. Khan said he doesn’t know what people actually wanted unless you wanted them to explode the guys. Khan said Omega’s plan as a heel failed.

He’s asked about Shida as champion. Khan said Shida has been a great champion for them through the pandemic. Khan said she has been one of the most consistent wrestlers for AEW.

Khan was asked about constructing the barbed wire death match. He is asked if he made any tweaks to showcase it on a big stage like AEW. Khan is asked if we will see more Mahki Ito. Khan said we will see Ito on Wednesday.

As for the construction of the barbed wire death match. Khan referenced the Onita vs. Funk match and said they did a lot of tests with the fire marshall around. He said the story gave them an out for not killing both of these guys. He said you saw Kenny build the structure crudely with a hammer. Khan said they had to treat the barbed wire with great care and also rehearse the explosions.

Khan is asked about signing Christian Cage. He said he’s been a friend of Cage’s for a long time and before that he was a big fan of his. He said he was a great tag and singles wrestler in multiple companies. He said recently Cage generated a lot of interest for his recent appearance in another company. He said Cage called him and said he wanted to wrestle in AEW and he said it came together and it he believes it will be really good.

Tony is asked about AEW’s plan to ride out the pandemic. Khan said they’re going to take it every few months at a time. Khan said he doesn’t want to run indoors, but he doesn’t mind running outdoors with live crowds socially distanced and wearing masks. Tony said there’s been zero transmissions since they’ve run outdoor events in Jacksonville. Khan said he went to the College Football National Championship and The Super Bowl this year and he felt safe. Khan said they’ve done dozens of shows and have had thousands of ticket holders, so they can say, hey this is working.

He said they’d like to grow the audience in Jacksonville, but it’s too soon to try to pack an arena.

Dave Meltzer is asked if he has a time frame for the Young Bucks vs. Pac and Rey Fenix. He said we will see Matt Jackson vs. Fenix first. He said the match will take place before Double or Nothing.

Dave is asked about signing Christian. He asked if it just came up in the last few weeks or did it come up further back. He said Christian just returned to the ring and looked incredibly impressive. He didn’t know Christian did not have a contract. He said he was kicking himself that Christian wasn’t with them earlier. Khan said all of the wrestlers have so much respect for Christian. Khan said he knows there was great interest in him because there was great interest in him in the last several weeks. He said he definitely knew there was a lot of interest in Christian over the last several weeks.

Khan is asked when we will see Red Velvet will have to do to get a contract. He said it’s coming. He said Red Velvet is tremendous. Khan is asked about Drake. He said as soon as Drake got there, there was a line out the door to work with him. He said he had great matches with Kingston and Taylor. He said he likes working with Drake.

Khan is asked when Shida will bein the main event. Khan said it will happen soon. He said it will happen in the next few weeks.

A.J. Awesome asks Tony about the Exploding Barbed Wire match and if there’s pressure to top it. Khan said he’s glad he didn’t have to blow the guys up. Khan said it will be a very tough match to top.

Tony is asked when we will see Big Swole. Khan said she’s been honest and she’s had some flareups. She rose up in 2020 and he really likes Swole. He said Swole hasn’t been active and crohn’s disease has been keeping her out. He said the record depends on the calendar. Khan is asked that as she gets healthy they can get her back and she will be a great asset to them.

Tony is asked about cinematic matches with legends. Khan said this was a perfect match for Sting. Khan again talks about Allin planning shots and storyboarding the match. Khan talked about the great partnership between Allin and Sting. Khan said what he can do as a booker and promoter is give them resources and share a vision with him. Khan said there’s not a person alive he has less in common with, but he has cool ideas and loves collaborating with him. Khan said Sting did so great in the match. Khan said we might see Sting wrestle again because he’s shown he’s capable of that. Khan said he deserves geat accolades and team Taz did a lot to keep it hot.

Tony said Revolution last year was one of his favorite shows. He is asked about how this years show stacks up. Khan said it was different circumstances, but the support of the 1,300 fans in the venue was tremendous. Khan said the environment last year for Revolution added a lot. He said he hopes to up the capacity for Double or Nothing. He said this was a great PPV that sets the bar high for 2021 going forward.

Khan is asked if he’s worried about people thinking the ring blowing up was poorly executed. Tony said most of the people that watch the PPVs watch dynamite. He said we saw Kenny crudely building the cage. He said the wrestling part worked for Omega, but when it comes to building rings, he’s not so good.

Khan is asked about launching new programming and how important are new names like Sting, Paul White, and Christian. Khan said this could be the highest bought show they’ve had given the preliminary streaming numbers.

Khan said in 2021 he will have some aces up his sleeve. He said we will see some cool stuff. He said this is the beginning. “I promise it’s going to be a great year for AEW.” Khan said as he launched elevation and another show on TNT. He said all these guys will be important. Sting and Cage now and later White, who will be announcing for now. Khan said there are young wrestlers on the verge of breaking through and even more behind them.

Khan said last year they added Lee, Hardy, and Cage during the first half last year. He said we will see more crazy stuff in 2021. Khan said AEW will keep working hard for you.

6 Comments on Interview highlights: Allin on directing street fight, Hangman Page on match vs. Matt Hardy, Wight on signing with AEW, Khan on Ethan Page, Christian, post-main event explosion (w/Radican questions)

  1. Radican, quit your job right now! It’s Paul fucking WIGHT!! WIGHT!! WIGHT!! Dipshit dumb ass! How do you not know? You had better go back and fix that and hide your shame. I’m sure you won’t print this comment gutless bitch!

    • Well, you surprised me. You printed my comments and fixed the 20 White’s you had printed in the piece. Yes I commented at 545am. I woke up and had to pee.

        • Thank you. I wasn’t even warmed up yet. There is still one White lingering in the 2nd to last paragraph. Paul Wight has been around since 1994. Read the article and picture White written in every spot that mentions his name. No excuse for such journalism. Plus there are supposed to be editors on the site. Are you Radican? Then don’t worry about it! I live in Minnesota so I’d be happy to come to the office and proof read everything and make them look like professionals for a small fee.

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