Controversy arose following the premiere episode of "AEW Collision," as Dutch Mantel, a well-known figure in the wrestling industry, voiced his skepticism about the creative decisions behind the show. Taking to Twitter, Mantel expressed his belief that AEW President Tony Khan might not have been the one responsible for booking the inaugural Collision event.
Mantel's tweet read, "This is what I thought about the new @AEW show Collision. It wasn't booked by Tony Khan. I believe that it had to be booked by someone else, CMPunk maybe. The show looked entirely different with much bigger and muscular guys.
Plus it flowed well. Your opinion?"
Tony Khan Still Controls AEW Collision
Indeed, AEW Collision diverged from the format and presentation of its flagship show, AEW Dynamite. Notably, the commentary team was positioned at ringside, reminiscent of WWE's current setup.
However, despite these differences, the prevailing understanding is that Tony Khan remains in control of the creative direction for Collision. While Bryan Danielson, Jerry Lynn, Christopher Daniels, and Dean Malenko were reported to be part of the creative team for the Saturday night show, it is important to note that Khan, Pat Buck, Will Washington, Sonjay Dutt, and QT Marshall are also expected to contribute their ideas.
Khan has earned a reputation for his hands-on approach to AEW and Ring Of Honor, suggesting that he likely had significant involvement in the planning of Collision, despite Mantel's doubts. Notably, Dax Harwood and CM Punk have also been linked to the creative team for Collision.
Their involvement was apparent in the main event of the debut episode, where they joined forces with Cash Wheeler to defeat the formidable trio of Samoa Joe, Juice Robinson, and Jay White, thereby concluding the show on a high note.
In light of Mantel's observations, it remains to be seen how the wrestling community will react. As the world eagerly awaits further episodes of AEW Collision, fans and industry insiders alike will be watching closely to see if any further departures from the established AEW formula manifest, and whether Dutch Mantel's speculations hold any weight in the weeks to come.