All Elite Wrestling has previously stated that they want to make a conscious effort to reach out to new fan bases in their second year and one way AEW is attempting this is by working with outside figures such as Mike Tyson and Shaq.
Mike Tyson confronted Chris Jericho on the episode of Dynamite following AEW Double or Nothing in May and Jericho says that there were plans to have him and Tyson face off at All Out in September, but Mike Tyson was unable to commit to the pay-per-view. As for Shaquille O’Neal, Jade Cargill arrived on last week’s episode of Dynamite and threatened Cody Rhodes that Shaq may be coming for him.
Speaking with Sporting News, AEW president Tony Khan discussed the hope of bringing in mainstream interest and new viewers but promised that there would not be 2 hours of Mike Tyson or Shaq every Wednesday.
“I don’t think anybody has to worry that it’s gonna be 75-80 minutes of Shaq every Wednesday night, or two hours of Mike Tyson every Wednesday night — that’s not what we’re going for. But I do think their appearances definitely add some mainstream interest, and hopefully bring in new viewers. And I think the wrestling fans want new viewers — the wrestling fans want it to be cool to be a wrestling fan.
“I was in high school in the late ’90s and into 2000, I graduated in 2001, and I went to a school where it was 8 through 12. In eighth grade, I was the biggest wrestling fan in the world, trading tapes, wearing Japanese wrestling shirts, wearing my Taz shirt when he was in ECW, and everybody knew me as a wrestling fan — that was not a cool thing to be and I was not cool. And I got a lot cooler as wrestling happened to get a lot cooler. It’s funny how it worked.”
He continued, “Hopefully when Mike gets out of there with Roy Jones Jr., I’d love to do stuff with Mike again — he’s a good friend, and he’s always been very good to me, and I have a lot of respect for him, and I hope Mike comes out of this fight OK. Similar to Michael Jordan, I think there’s a mystique around Mike Tyson where nobody has ever replicated it, and it’s been over 20 years since he was in his peak, and still nobody can touch that mystique. So I think he has that.
“Similar to both of them, I don’t think there’s ever been another big man in my lifetime that’s captured the imagination of America the way Shaq did — and he’s a very different basketball player than Michael Jordan. In a similar era, and then he played really later in the next era with Shaq and Kobe. Shaq’s also a friend, and he’s a great person, and I am excited about the possibility of working with him, too.
“I think both Shaq and Mike are one of a kind, in very different ways. But for each of them in their sport, there’ll never be another like them. And that’s why I think they still have a lot of interest right around them.”
SEE MORE: AEW Dynamite Results (11/18/20)
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