AEW faced sharp criticism last year when The Elite was brutally attacked and beaten down by The Dark Order on the final Dynamite of 2019. The group had not been presented as a major threat at that point and fans were quick to point out one of the masked assailants had been throwing phantom punches.
Tony Khan heard the criticisms and wasn’t afraid to make changes during their small break between that episode and the first Dynamite of 2020. Khan was a guest on the Pro Wrestling Torch podcast and spoke about how he felt they were “beating up some of our big stars too much” and how it adjusted his focus this year.
“For me, a big focus — I try to look at other sources peripheral to AEW like Being The Elite for ideas. I saw Hangman on Being The Elite doing his drunk character. He had never done that on Dynamite. I was like, ‘That’s Hangman from now.’ We’re almost a year into it and it’s completely changed him and he connects with people in a different way, he’s a more three-dimensional wrestler. There was a connection between him and the crowd that he still needed to get. We found it and now he has everything he needs. It was already within him. It’s similar to John Silver, when I saw his character on Being The Elite and I said, ‘This is what you need to do on Dynamite, this is going to connect with people.’ There are things like that where we need to change the presentation of people.”
Page has really connected with the fans since AEW began and is arguably one of the company’s top babyfaces, not to mention John Silver’s managed to translate his act from Being the Elite into getting over with the live crowd. The best is yet to come for all parties involved, and Khan is definitely utilizing those new ideas to his advantage.
(h/t to Fightful for the quote)
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