Tony Khan confirms that William Regal‘s time with AEW is coming to an end.
On December 1, Fightful Select reported that Regal was “effectively done” with the company after he had been apparently written off TV on the November 30 episode of AEW Dynamite. There, AEW World Champion MJF blindsided him with a brutal attack, and Regal was taken out on a stretcher. PWInsider then reported that Regal was finalizing a new deal with WWE.
Speaking on the ROH Final Battle media conference call, Khan discussed Regal’s status with AEW. He noted that throughout September and October, he was dealing with a very challenging personal situation as his mother suffered two strokes. During this time, Khan learned that Regal asked the company not to renew his option at the end of the year so he could return to WWE and work with his son.
“I got a phone call and it was saying that William Regal had approached Megha (Parekh)and said that, and it was all very legitimate valid stuff, basically, he’s got a son who works in another wrestling promotion,” Khan said. “He really wanted us at the end of the year, when we had the option to renew his contract, he was asking that we would not.
“Nothing bad, we’re having a great time working together, but this is an opportunity for him to go back and work in these really golden years of his career with his son and do things he likes to do, coaching, and he’s got friends that he’d like to go back and work with. It’s a very complex situation for AEW because he’s a huge part of what we’re doing on-screen and we really value him, and there’s multiple storylines that he’s involved in at this point.”
After he learned about Regal’s request, Khan stated that the veteran called him, and they talked. Khan stated that he was sitting outside of the hospital after his mom had heart surgery, and in that situation, he could understand why Regal would want to be with his son.
“I got a message from Regal, and it was asking if we could talk. I made time to talk to him and I went outside the hospital,” Regal said. “So I’m sitting out on a park bench in front of the Mayo Clinic on Sunday night, and we had this really long, good talk. It was very positive, and he really had, I think good intentions, I’d like to say, for why he wanted to go back, and it made a lot of sense to me that he would want to work with his son and he with his son. He said to me, honestly, and it made sense, given where you’re sitting right now, does it make sense to you that I would want to go back and be with my son? At that point, where I was sitting, yeah it really did make a lot of sense to me.
“Frankly the last thing I wanted to do at that moment was prevent any parent and any child from being together as I was sitting on a park bench at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville when my mom was sleeping inside and recovering from a major operation. So I told him, I don’t know we’re gonna do it yet, I’m gonna have to do a lot of thinking. It’s gonna require more changes. I referenced earlier, there’s been a lot of that this year that we’ve tried to make the best of everything, and I really do believe we’ve been able to have great events through it all.”
Khan highlighted how, given what he was going through with his mom, he was able to appreciate Regal’s desire to work with his son in a different light. He admitted that letting Regal go would force him to make major changes to the plans for the company, but he pointed to the previous periods in which AEW has been forced to pivot out of necessity as success stories.
“I had to think about that, but I also had to think about family, and given that’s where I was at and where he was at, it made a lot of sense that we would try to accommodate him and that request. As I was sitting there, praying that my mom was gonna recover from this major operation she just had that weekend, and given where I found myself and given where he was, I just thought it made sense maybe that I would not exercise that option here. So I said I would consider it and started working on changes. It’s basically another complete overhaul. Like I said, we made major changes going into Forbidden Door, we made major changes coming out of All Out and going into Grand Slam, but these were really successful periods for us.
The AEW President then recalled how he spoke with Regal for over ninety minutes the week of the “Title Tuesday” episode of AEW Dynamite in October. Khan emphasized that he told Regal that he’d make major sacrifices to AEW in order to do what’s best for Regal and his family. He stated that Regal will remain with AEW through the holiday season.
“I sat with Regal for over ninety minutes in my office afterwards, and this is probably the longest one-on-one in-person talk I’ve ever had with him, and we talked,” Khan said. “I told him I’ll make major sacrifices to do the best thing for you and your family because this is a family-first company. The person I’m releasing later this month, who’s still with us, I think it’s fair to say, through the holiday, has been an essential part of multiple TV stories and is still an essential part of the TV as if tonight. We’ve done a lot of things to help him create the best situation he can for his family.
Khan also made it clear that he wishes Regal the best, and he’s grateful for his time in AEW.
“I’m wishing him the best, and he knows I wish him the best,” Khan said. “We’ve had conversations, even this week, and I think he’s grateful for what I did. But also I know he enjoyed his time here, and I enjoyed the time with him. It’s hard to see him go, but it was a challenge to make it compelling, and he’s not gone yet.”
As a follow-up question later in the call, Khan said Regal’s release is conditional. He noted that “the way it was written up” would allow Regal to coach in WWE, but he would not be appearing as an on-air talent next year.
If you use any of these quotes, please credit WrestleZone for the transcription.
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