"Confirm Ricky Starks to WWE" - Fans react as Tony Khan acknowledges 'predatory practices' of AEW's rival

Tony Khan
Tony Khan is the CEO and President of AEW! [Image Source: AEW YouTube and X]

AEW President Tony Khan has fired back on his social account after veteran journalist Dave Meltzer recently accused WWE of providing false data regarding viewership numbers of the weekly shows of the Jacksonville-based promotion to the media. The numbers were shocking and carried by several websites that passionately cover pro wrestling.

Earlier, it was reported that the June 1, 2024, episode of Collision garnered a paltry viewership of 34000 in the 18-49 demographics. However, it was later revealed that the actual number was 378,000.

Following Meltzer's revelation, Tony Khan took to his X (Twitter) account and stated that his company was at the receiving end of the ''same predatory business practices'' that the likes of Jim Crockett Promotions suffered from during the 1980s.

Jim Crockett Promotions was one of the earliest wrestling promotions in the United States and one of the largest pro wrestling promotions in the country. The company later sold most of its interests to Turner Network Television, which formed the initial version of World Championship Wrestling in the late 1980s.

In his post, Khan also praised fans for their loyalty towards the product.

"These are the same predatory business practices that Jim Crockett Promotions plus many former wrestling territories faced in the 1980s. I'm very grateful to all of you wrestling fans who watch AEW, and @AEW is here to stay," he posted.

After Khan replied to Meltzer's revelation, there were some quick responses from fans on social media.

"Is it the WWE's fault the ratings and demo dropped too?" one user posted.
''Your weekly check to Meltzer must have gotten lost in the mail; guess this was his way of firing a warning shot. Sad!" another fan posted.
"I’d think WWE would be more concerned over possible criminal indictments than 1970s carnie tricks in 2024," a fan wrote.

Lio Rush made his AEW Collision debut on June 1

Former WWE Superstar Lio Rush made his Collision debut on the June 1, 2024, episode of the Saturday Night Show. The 29-year-old suffered a defeat at the hands of Roderick Strong in a singles match.

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Rush made his return to the Jacksonville-based promotion for the first time since 2021 on the May 29, 2024, episode of Wednesday Night Dynamite. He locked horns with Will Ospreay, Claudio Castagnoli, Jay White, Mistico, PAC, Hechicero, and Shota Unimo in the AEW World Title Number One Contendership Forbidden Door Casino Gauntlet Match. The match was eventually won by The Aerial Assassin.

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