Tony Khan has opened up about the use of licensed music following the recent debut of Rob Van Dam on AEW Dynamite.
RVD made his AEW debut on the August 2 edition of Dynamite, confronting Jack Perry and leading to a match on the following week’s episode.
Much to the joy of old-school RVD fans, he came to the ring to the sound of Walk by Pantera, continuing AEW’s trend of using recognisable tracks for high-profile moments.
Tony Khan revealed details of the company’s use of licensed tracks whilst speaking to Battleground Podcast, saying:
“We did have a backup (song for RVD’s AEW stint) but it wouldn’t have been the same and that’s why I wanted to pay the extra and go the extra mile and get ‘Walk’ by Pantera. Pantera was great and worked with us and we worked out a reasonable deal.”
Khan would also address the use of licensed music in AEW and the deals he’s struck for future use, adding:
“I compare music licenses in wrestling to trades in pro sports. It’s like, you can do your best but, every trade is its own transaction. It has to be between at least two willing parties. It can’t just be one willing party in a trade and I think that’s very similar with music rights in wrestling.
“You have to reach a deal that’s fair for everybody and sometimes the value is in the eye of the beholder and sometimes people ask for money that I don’t think is reasonable.
“Other times, we’ve gotten deals that I thought were very fair. But we do use a lot of licensed music and in perpetuity.
“So someday when the AEW streaming library becomes available per our exclusive rights with Warner Bros. Discovery, the great company we’re very fortunate to team with, I am optimistic someday all of this will live on Max hopefully and every great moment where we’ve licensed music, we still have that music. I paid for the rights in perpetuity.
“So whether it was something incredibly moving and memorable like when we used Tom Waits’ Ol’ ’55 for the tribute video to the late, great Mr. Brodie Lee or like you said, something fun with the great entrance, RVD-Pantera. Other great moments like Bryan Danielson and The Final Countdown at Forbidden Door and so many other of the great things we’ve done over the years.”
Footage from RVD’s match with Jack Perry for the FTW Championship can be seen below this news story.
After his debut match in AEW, it was reported that people were impressed backstage at the performance.
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