All Elite Wrestling may have made their Detroit debut just last month, but Tony Khan, the company’s founder, co-owner, president and CEO, is already looking ahead to what the promotion could do next in the city.
Khan apologized to the city for taking three years to hold their first show there, but promised that he wants to return in the near future with a pay-per-view – whether it be the next Forbidden Door event, Full Gear, All Out, or something else entirely.
Khan noted that the wrestling company – the biggest competition WWE has faced in decades – is funded by his father, who gained his wealth in the automotive industry, owning Flex-N-Gate.
“He wasn’t a believer at first, it took a lot of convincing,” Khan said. “Everything he’s done, in large part, came from this city and the automotive industry. Detroit powers America, and powers the f*cking world. Welcome to the f*cking Motor City, Detroit.”
Their Detroit debut for a joint taping of Dynamite and Rampage may not have been a pay-per-view, but it was a spectacle nonetheless.
The Motor City played host to the second-ever Blood and Guts edition of Dynamite and the first-ever Royal Rampage edition of their Friday night show.
Blood and Guts is a unique six-on-six match taking place across two rings and inside (or, eventually, on top of) a steel cage. The Royal Rampage is a 20-man battle royale with the winner getting to face the Interim AEW World Champion.
“There’s no place I would rather do Blood and Guts, and there’s no place I would rather do the first-ever Royal Rampage. This is going to be absolutely insane,” Khan said between shows, as crew members cleaned up the ring that was riddled with shattered glass, thumbtacks, sweat and blood after a grueling Blood and Guts match that took up the second half of the show.
“Detroit, coming here was well worth the wait because tonight was one of the best nights we’ve ever had,” Khan said.
Khan made numerous untelevised appearances throughout the night to hype the crowd, including running out as matches were going on to signal for the crowd to increase their volume, and explain different parts of the show, like the rules of the inaugural Royal Rampage.
After they finished taping Rampage, Khan made one final appearance, bringing out stars like Danhausen and Orange Cassidy to send the crowd home happy.
“One time Danhausen wrestled down the street at an abandoned Target in front of about 30 people, and now he’s wrestling in front of well over 10,000 people,” Danhausen said, before second guessing his crowd estimate. “Is that right? More than 10,000 people, that’s quite wonderful.”
The crowd in Detroit may have had to wait three years to see some of their favorite stars compete in the new promotion, but that only served to make them more fired up; deafening “AEW” chants abound before the first wrestlers entered the ring, and fans kept that energy up throughout the entire five hours of tapings that AEW did at the Little Caesars Arena in a way that recent WWE events there have not.
Thankfully, if Khan is to be taken at his word, it sounds like Detroit won’t have to wait as long to play host to their next special wrestling event.