WWE news, rumors: Khan family elaborates on AEW involvement; Braun Strowman injury update
The funding for AEW is coming from exactly where we all suspected
On Tuesday in Jacksonville, All Elite Wrestling, the upstart promotion that is the brainchild of Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks, will hold a rally to formally introduce itself and its immediate plans to the world. Since the announcement of AEW back during the early hours of Jan. 1, small details about the venture have begun to leak out, including word that the new company is financially backed by Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan with his son Tony, a longtime wrestling fan, leading the charge. That is a rumor no longer.
Tuesday, both Shad and Tony Khan issued statements unveiling their roles with AEW. In really a not-so-shocking revelation at this point, Jaguars owner Shad began by confirming what we seemed to know all along -- that he is the primary money man behind this exciting operation. He also noted that his son will serve in a leadership role during the launch this year, and he's currently in the process of assembling a team to make sure they're as successful as possible to kick things off.
"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," Khan said. "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."
The Khans were also very transparent in letting everyone know that their involvement with AEW will not pull them away from other duties, which include running the Jaguars of the NFL here in the United States as well as Fulham FC of the English Premier League.
We'll presumably learn a lot more about AEW on Tuesday afternoon during the rally, but with these statements just hours prior, the world was put on notice that this venture is charging ahead with a lot of money behind it -- something those consistently unhappy with Vince McMahon and the WWE product have been hoping for.
More WWE news, rumors
- We were led to believe Monday night on Raw that Braun Strowman and universal champion Brock Lesnar were going to get physical with one another as they get set to face off at the Royal Rumble event in a few weeks. That didn't happen, and instead all we got was a very awkward promo segment. According to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer [subscription required and recommended], Strowman has not yet been cleared for physical activity, so brawling with the universal champ was off the table for Monday. Strowman, though, is still expected to challenge for the title in Phoenix.
- Meltzer also reports that six-time IWGP junior heavyweight champion Kushida is indeed heading to WWE to take on a new challenge in his illustrious career. Kushida announced his intention to leave New Japan Pro-Wrestling just a few days ago, and his farewell bout for the promotion will take place on Jan. 29 as he faces off with IWGP heavyweight champion Hiroshi Tanahashi inside Korakuen Hall.
- On SmackDown Live Tuesday night, we'll find out who will challenge Asuka at the Royal Rumble for the women's title as Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair and Carmella meet in a triple threat No. 1 contender match. The Usos take on The Bar with a future opportunity at the tag titles on the line and AJ Styles is expected to confront WWE champion Daniel Bryan with their championship bout on the horizon.
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