Tony Khan Neck Injury NFL Draft AEW Screen grab: NFL Network

While Tony Khan’s involvement in the closing segment of AEW Dynamite on Wednesday might have been polarizing for fans, you can’t say that it didn’t generate publicity for the pro wrestling promotion.

For the uninitiated, Wednesday’s episode of Dynamite concluded with the AEW owner taking a punch to the gut from wrestler Jack Perry and a “TK Driver” piledriver from the Young Bucks. Considering Khan sold the physical altercation as if he had suffered a major neck injury, many speculated whether he would continue to do so as he performed his duties as the Jacksonville Jaguars’ chief football strategy officer during the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday night.

Khan — the son of Jaguars owner Shahid Khan — didn’t disappoint.

Just before Jacksonville selected LSU wide receiver Brian Thomas Jr. with the No. 23 overall pick, the NFL Network’s broadcast of the event cut to the Jaguars’ war room. There, you could see the younger Khan sitting beside his father and head coach Doug Pederson, donning a foam neck brace as a result of The Elite’s heinous attack a night earlier.

“Tony Khan becomes the first-ever NFL executive in a draft room shaking off the effects of a piledriver he received on national television in a wrestling ring the other night,” Rich Eisen said during the NFL Network’s broadcast. “Such is life when you mix AEW and the NFL. Tony Khan, hang in there buddy. Hang in there.”

Khan’s commitment to kayfabe proceeded to go viral, generating perhaps the most mainstream publicity AEW has received since the company’s inception five years ago. The Young Bucks also used the opportunity to advance the angle, sarcastically posting a screengrab of Khan in his neck brace to their social media accounts.


Just how far did Khan go to sell his on-screen injury? We’ll likely find out soon enough, with the Wrestling Observer Newsletter‘s Dave Meltzer reporting that an NFL Films crew is following the AEW owner this week for a feature on his dual roles with the pro wrestling promotion and pro football team.

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About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.