Fans of contemporary professional wrestling as well aware of the rivalry between longtime WWE monopolist Vince McMahon and the upstart promoter of AEW, Tony Khan — but this is only the latest skirmish in a family war that stretches back generations.
Vince McMahon’s lineage into professional wrestling is well-known — he worked for his father, wrestling promoter Vince McMahon Sr., and eventually bought his father’s company and began an international expansion in the 1980s. Tony Khan, on the other hand, is what’s known in business lingo as a money mark, funded by his bazillionaire father, Shahid Khan.
Back when Vince McMahon Sr. was selling out Madison Square Garden every month with headliners like Bruno Sammartino and Andre the Giant, Shahid Khan was promoting wrestling in the American south, with his World Wrestling Alliance (WWA) territory stretching across Georgia, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Florida.
The Khan family come from a long line of professional wrestlers in their native Pakistan, where AEW Dynamite is the highest-rated television program in the country’s history.
Tony Khan’s grandfather, Killer Khan, was a mist-spewing wrestler with a “Mongolian” gimmick who briefly appeared in Vince McMahon’s WWF, which seemed to be a sign that the McMahon-Khan war had reached a truce.
But it would seem there’s no love lost between the McMahon and Khan clans, likely stemming back to the time Jess McMahon (grandfather of Vince McMahon Jr.) had a physical altercation with Tony Khan’s great-grandfather, Genghis.