Jan 9, 2017; Tampa, FL, USA; ESPN analyst Tim Tebow prior to the 2017 College Football Playoff National Championship Game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Clemson Tigers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Since first being hired by WWE in 2020, Nick Khan has helped take the company to new heights, as perhaps best exemplified by Tuesday’s deal that will make Netflix the new home of WWE Raw beginning in 2025.

How did Khan’s relationship with the professional wrestling giant come to be? As the WWE president explained on Tuesday’s episode of The Pat McAfee Show, it began with a hypothetical WrestleMania match that would have involved Tim Tebow.

“Paul Levesque, the ‘King of Kings,’ Triple H, he’s the one who introduced me to WWE. He’s the one who first introduced me,” Khan explained. “So when I was an agent, my prior profession, and I was trying to get into the WWE business, Paul had called me, an unsolicited call, and this was when Tim Tebow had just gotten cut by the Patriots.

“Paul called me, he said, ‘Hey, I just want to introduce myself, my name’s Paul Levesque… he said, ‘Hey, what do you think of Tim Tebow against the Big Show at whatever that WrestleMania was after the Patriots’ run. I said, ‘What are you thinking?’ He offered some financial terms.

“Tim and I had then a top secret private meeting — Tim Tebow, myself, Vince McMahon, Triple H in Anaheim, California, about that. Ultimately it didn’t happen.”

Based on the timeline of Khan’s story, it would appear that WWE had been attempting to recruit Tebow to face the 7-foot, 383-pound Big Show at WrestleMania 30 in New Orleans in April 2014. Tebow would begin his broadcasting career with ESPN’s SEC Network in December 2013 and went on to embark on a minor league baseball career in the New York Mets’ organization, in addition to brief stints on the Philadelphia Eagles and Jacksonville Jaguars’ offseason rosters.

As for Khan, the former sports media power agent at CAA remained in touch with Levesque and was eventually brought on board to help negotiate WWE’s TV rights deals in 2018. Two years later, Khan was formerly hired as WWE’s President & Chief Revenue Officer and served as the company’s co-CEO alongside Levesque’s wife, Stephanie McMahon, during Vince McMahon’s temporary departure from the company in 2022.

Following its merger with UFC to form TKO Group Holdings last year, Khan and Levesque have largely been viewed as WWE’s top executives. And it’s a relationship that might not have happened had WWE not attempted to lure Tebow to the squared circle a decade ago.

[The Pat McAfee Show]

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.