Tony Khan did an interview with Sports Illustrated where he talked about a wide range of topics.
During it, the AEW President talked about tightening restrictions on talent taking outside bookings due to recent COVID-19 outbreaks at independent events.
Most notably, Joey Janela had to be pulled from a match on AEW Dynamite due to COVID-19 concerns, but he’s not the only one to work an indie show that resulted in changes being made to AEW booking.
“I implemented a policy where people were only supposed to work indie shows when certain conditions were met. There have been times when people did not take that seriously, so I have tightened up the restrictions. I’ll still allow it under certain conditions, but people need to look me in the eye and say that the conditions are being met. Our talent and their opponent need to be tested before the show, and there also needs to be a good reason why the match is important.”
He continued by noting that it’s important for everyone’s safety and their show. He stated that he’s been flexible in the past because he thought it was good for the talent to have the opportunity to earn and the entertainment for fans. Khan pointed out how they don’t run every night of the week so it allows for talent to get extra reps as well.
“So we have a policy, and I’ll be enforcing it strictly.”I am not going to end it, but we are taking a closer look at it. More so now than ever, people need to come to me directly about this. I am going to be strict about what people can and can’t do, but I won’t say you won’t see people make special appearances on independent shows because I think there is a lot of merit to that.”