When CM Punk announced his injury, he was given a lot of air time to discuss it. Thunder Rosa was not, and Tony Khan bluntly explained why.
CM Punk and Thunder Rosa have dealt with similar situations over the last few months, but AEW has handled them very differently. The Voice Of The Voiceless was forced to step away from the ring due to an injury, which created the need for an interim championship. He was given more than eight minutes to discuss his feelings on the matter before going away for a few months. Rosa, too, had to take time off to heal up, but when she made that announcement, she was given less than a minute during a backstage segment.
AEW fans were quick to point out this discrepancy. The women’s division in All Elite Wrestling has lagged behind the likes of WWE, NXT, and IMPACT in terms of air time and quality stories, and this seemed to be yet another example of that bias. During a recent media availability call, Tony Khan was asked why this why the case, and he was blunt in his response.
When a media member inquired about the difference in time Punk received versus Rosa, AEW’s co-owner and lead booker had this to say. “I give the TV time based on what I believe is going to draw the most ratings. And if you want my honest opinion on an eight-minute Thunder Rosa promo versus an eight-minute CM Punk promo, then you’re going to get an honest answer. I think the eight-minute CM Punk promo is probably gonna’ do a better rating.” Khan then went on to discuss match length, in which he stressed that Rosa has had some “great matches as champion” but noted that her coming out and cutting an eight-minute promo wouldn’t have been “best for the television show.” He also explained that he knew about CM Punk’s injury well ahead of time, so he had an opportunity to find time for his segment on Dynamite, whereas he found out about Rosa’s a few hours before the show went live.
Tony Khan’s Assessment Is Tough But Fair
This is some tough love from Tony Khan. His assessment of Thunder Rosa‘s promo ability is tough but fair. While she’s an incredible in-ring performer, capable of tearing down the house on any night, her mic work isn’t quite there. She speaks English and Spanish and has talked about being able to understand some Portuguese and Japanese, which is fantastic, but her drawing power isn’t on the stick.
Punk, on the other hand, has made a living by talking. He’s also an outstanding professional wrestler, but he’s the best promo in the game this side of maybe The Rock and John Cena. It makes sense, then, that he was given AEW air time to speak about his injury while Rosa was given less of an opportunity to do so.