AEW President Tony Khan didn’t hold back while sharing his thoughts on how WWE handled one of his most recent acquisitions.
Speaking to reporters at a media conference call on Tuesday, Khan said that “The Best Man” Miro had been “treated like shit for years” by his former employers, WWE.
“I’m just kind of rebuilding him, to be honest with you. I thought he got beat up so badly,” Khan said in response to a question about AEW’s plans for the former WWE Superstar. “I saw some jackass on Twitter was like, ‘This guy drove a tank at WrestleMania and now he’s doing this,’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah, and then he got kicked in the nuts and they treated him like shit for years! He drove a tank out five years ago. That’s not the guy I signed. The guy I signed had been abused for years. And he’s being rebuilt.”
As you might recall, Miro — who was known as Rusev for the majority of his WWE tenure — had some buzz when he initially debuted on WWE’s main roster following an decent run in developmental. He would quickly capture the WWE United States Championship and run roughshod over the locker room with an impressive undefeated streak. He eventually entered a feud with John Cena which culminated at WrestleMania 31.
After that, things were up and down for the native Bulgarian. He managed to win the adoration of the WWE Universe with his “Rusev Day” gimmick, but for whatever reason, this popularity didn’t earn Rusev a push.
His final major WWE storyline involved him being cuckolded by Bobby Lashely … the less said about that, the better.
During Tuesday’s media conference, Khan also assured fans that he has big plans for Miro.
“Miro’s going to be a big star here. It’s really hard for people to come into AEW when you have a ranking system unless they come in at the start of a new year cycle,” the AEW President said. “And I didn’t want to wait till January to bring Miro in. Brian Cage was the exception because Brian Cage, I booked him, he came in… I signed Brian Cage in January and he came in, I was going to do the Casino Ladder Match and Brian would be a surprise and we would build to Brian getting a shot but build up a record for Brian before we did Moxley versus Brian Cage.”
“But I can’t do that for everybody and I wasn’t going to do it again, and so I couldn’t just put Miro in the main event with no record and no history here,” he continued. “So he’s got to build up and build story, but he’s working with some of the top people in AEW, some of the people I regard as the top people — with the Best Friends and now Orange Cassidy in the story — and so, we have great stuff going on the top of the card and I just couldn’t cast everybody aside. Jon Moxley and Kenny Omega, Chris Jericho and MJF, Cody and Darby, Ricky Starks and Brian Cage. We have Will Hobbs moving up now. Hangman [Page}. There’s so many great things going on in AEW, and Miro is now going to be a huge part of AEW, too, but, just like everyone else, he has to win matches and get involved in stories.”
Miro debuted on AEW TV in September and aligned himself with Kip Sabian and Penelope Ford.