As previously noted, AEW star Bryan Danielson, Chris Jericho, and Paul Wight appeared via video on this week’s WWE Raw to celebrate John Cena’s 20-year anniversary. In an interview on the Battleground Podcast, AEW president Tony Khan explained how it came together and letting the talent decide if they wanted to do it. Here’s what he had to say:
Tony Khan on how AEW stars appearing on WWE Raw for John Cena’s 20th-anniversary came together: “I think when people ask for a reasonable favor, I’m a good Samaritan. There’s no reason why you can’t help people out. In this case, that’s just trying to be a good Samaritan and do the right thing to help out if you think it’s a good cause. In this case, John Cena’s 20th-anniversary show, I think that’s great. Sounded like a classy show and WWE reached out to me personally and asked me if we would send in videos from some of the top stars. They asked me for videos from Chris Jericho, Paul Wight, Bryan Danielson, and Mark Henry. Mark Henry’s didn’t make the air, but I’m sure they had a lot of great videos, and I understood why they’d want him. He’s a great star, but they did show Paul Wight, Bryan Danielson, and Chris Jericho. I thought those were great wrestlers to ask for and I had no problem with it.
On leaving it up to the talent as to whether they wanted to do it: “I also left it up to those wrestlers if they wanted to do it. I sent them to our head of HR, and she told him that they’d asked about this, and if they wanted to do the videos, it was fine with us, but it’s up to them. They sent them in and that’s how it happened. Based on what it was, John Cena’s 20th anniversary, even though WWE and AEW are competitive, it’s a good time to be in the wrestling business and be one of these two big national television companies.”
If using any of the above quotes, please credit the Battleground Podcast with an h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.