The biggest rumor in wrestling has been confirmed with the start of a new promotion, All Elite Wrestling, launching this year.
The group will be funded by billionaire Shad Khan, owner of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars and Fulham F.C. of the English Premiere League. His son Tony Khan, who also works in an executive role with both teams, is expected to serve as the president of AEW.
The Young Bucks — Matt and Nick Jackson — along with Cody Rhodes and Adam Page have already signed with the investment group, with the Bucks and Rhodes serving as both talent and executive vice presidents with AEW.
More information about the new company will be announced Tuesday, when AEW holds a rally at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Florida — home of the Jaguars.
That will be just a few hours before WWE runs its weekly “SmackDown Live” television show at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena, which is located less than a half-mile from TIAA Bank Field.
Scoping out the site of tomorrow’s Double or Nothing Rally!
Who’s joining us? pic.twitter.com/1BzNCqJhYT
— Cody Rhodes (@CodyRhodes) January 7, 2019
Until then, both Shad and Tony Khad commented on AEW for the first time Tuesday morning. Here is the full statement from Shad Khan regarding AEW:
"I am the lead investor, a supporter and a backer of All Elite Wrestling, and I anticipate great things today and into the future for AEW and everyone who has worked passionately on this week’s launch. I know AEW will be welcomed by wrestling fans here in the U.S. and throughout the world who are ready for something new and authentic. AEW will work hard to deliver on that promise.
As important, I am the father – the proud father – of Tony Khan, who will serve in a leadership role at AEW during the 2019 launch and in the years ahead. Tony will assemble a great team to take AEW over the top, for the benefit of everyone who loves the wrestling industry, while continuing to serve in his current capacities with the Jaguars and Fulham.
AEW will operate as an organization completely independently from my other interests. It will not deter attention or divert resources from any of my businesses, teams, projects or investments. At the same time, AEW will enjoy the same full commitment I given to everything and everyone in my life — my family and friends, my business and, in recent years, to sports, hospitality and now entertainment."
And here is the full statement from his son Tony Khan who is expected to be the president of AEW and run the day-to-day operation:
"Wrestling fans are a community unlike most others. I’ve been a part of this community since I was seven-years-old, and I can tell you that wresting fans see the world every day through a special lens. We see wrestling in Hollywood films and tv shows, we see elements of wrestling in the presentation of sports and in the marketing of grandiose star athletes, and we certainly see wrestling in politics.
The wrestling community is a constant; its members are diverse, we are physically located on all corners of the planet, yet we are constantly connected. Recently, a new family has formed, bonded by love and respect for wresting but armed with a vision and resources that have never before been available to the wrestling community. Our objective is to connect our community closer than ever before through All Elite Wrestling, or AEW.
AEW does not mean any less of a continued commitment to existing obligations and duties that I have, or my family has, to our business and sports interests. That will never be the case. What’s important is that every individual decision we make as family, whether it’s ownership or investment in a team or property, is 100 percent beneficial to those specific interests. I will always welcome that accountability and responsibility, as nothing is more important than serving our supporters and friends.
AEW will launch with a roster of the top wrestlers in the world. While they’ll clash in what will be some of the most intense and fast-paced contests ever sanctioned in the squared circle, they’ll also share a common goal: to make this the true golden age, to make this the greatest time ever to be a wrestling fan. Likewise, as a business, by treating our wrestlers with respect and warmth, we also seek to make this the golden age for the performers themselves.
I urge everyone who believes in what we’re doing, or wants to believe in dreams coming true, to support AEW by spreading the word and passing the wrestling bug onto someone else. My message: Get in on the ground floor with AEW today and help lead our movement to grow the wrestling community and ensure that the voices of the wrestling fans, their creative minds and their remarkable ideas, will always be heard."
There are still plenty of questions regarding AEW, including its potential television deal, when the company will begin running shows, and what talent has been signed.
It is expected that Tuesday's rally will have the group announcing information regarding an event dubbed “Double or Nothing” that will be a follow-up to last September’s “All In” show. The Chicago event put on by The Young Bucks and Rhodes proved to be the most successful independent wrestling show in history, drawing more than 11,000 fans.
“Double or Nothing” will likely take place during Memorial Day weekend in late May in Las Vegas.
— The Young Bucks (@MattJackson13) January 8, 2019
Among those that will appear at the Jacksonville rally late Tuesday afternoon include Rhodes, Matt and Nick Jackson, Page and Brandi Rhodes, who is the chief brand officer for AEW.
Also, there will be wrestlers Frankie Kazarian, Christopher Daniels, and Scorpio Sky, who collectively make up the group SoCal Uncensored. It is believed that the trio have already signed deals with AEW.