Details On Tony Schiavone’s Role With AEW

Tony Schiavone recently spoke with Interactive Wrestling Radio. Here are the highlights:

On coming back to wrestling to call MLW:
“I’ll tell you what got me back in. I’m really big, and I discovered this after WCW closed, I’m really big now on working for and with people that are good people. Court Bauer is a good person. Got to talking to Court, did some things for him before he got the beIN Sports deal. It was a little bit of money, of course. Every bit helps when you’re trying to cull a bunch of jobs together like I was doing. But, I got a real good feeling from the guys, like Tom Lawlor, Sami Callihan who was working with us at that time, Darby Allin was working for us back when I first started with MLW… I got a good feeling from them about their respect for the business and their love of my work. I got to thinking, if I’m a big enough name, and I never, James, I never was like that. But, if they feel that I’m a big enough name and they want me to try to help their career, I’m going to do it! I’m going to try and get these kids over and see if I can make their matches exciting. It all kind of fell together. It all kind of came together when Court Bauer contacted me. But, again, at my age, James, you can’t really put a price on happiness. And, James, you probably know this as much as anybody else. If you work for good people and you’re happy with your job, that is worth a lot of money in and of itself.”

On his many gigs at the moment:
“I’m happy with the radio station that I’m working with. I’m happy with the Georgia Bulldogs, I’m happy with the Atlanta Braves… They’re all great people to work for. That is where I am in my life right now.”

On the change of style from wrestling then versus what is on MLW now:
“When I left Nitro in March of 2001, I really went cold turkey. I didn’t watch anything. Until I started the podcast with Conrad in 2017… So, from 2001 until the Royal Rumble of 2017, I didn’t watch any wrestling at all. So, I didn’t know about the style that was going on. But, it was pretty apparent that it had changed a great deal. It was pretty apparent it was more high spot based, whatever you want to call it. Court and I talked about this. I said, “Court, the business may have passed me by. I don’t know if I’m going to be any good for you.” He said, “No, you’re doing great!” So, Rich Bocchini started doing play by play and I started doing the color commentary. So, I think it worked. I think what we’re seeing now is a combination of what we (WCW) did with the Cruiserweight Division and what they used to do in ECW. I think the ECW stuff, the crazy stuff, jumping out of the ring on top of chairs… That has kind of stood the test of time! I’ve watched old ECW matches with Conrad and that is kind of more where we’re headed right now.”

On his plans for AEW ALl Out this weekend:
“We’ve got a weekend in Chicago… Starcast III. Unfortunately, even though I have signed with AEW, I won’t be at All Out because I have a Georgia football game on Saturday. But, I will be at Starcast today, tomorrow, and Friday.”

On if he ever thought he’d be back with a wrestling brand on TNT:
“No, and I’ll tell you why. I had a very bad feeling about the Turner people when I left. The good news is, the Turner people that I didn’t have a good feeling towards are no longer around – I’m talking about the people that ran WCW, basically. I never thought I would do it again. I never thought wrestling would be back on TNT again! Because, they were very against wrestling. I guess under Brad Siegel and James Kelner. I don’t know the history. They didn’t want wrestling on their networks anymore. When I walked away from Panama City that night, I thought I was done with the wrestling business. I’m like that, James. I like to move on with my life. People that I’ve worked with in the past… I’m not good at staying in touch with people. That is my fault. Thank goodness for guys like Arn Anderson and Jim Ross… Guys that are my friends in the business.”

On being pulled back in to wrestling:
“I was talking to Gary Jester who is a promoter with Ring of Honor. He used to be with us. I said, “Isn’t this the craziest business.” He said, “Yes, it is the greatest business.” You know, it is like, you get involved in it, and even though the business may crap on you, you still come back to it once you’re in it. It is like the flu!”

On what his role is in AEW:
“Ok, well, I do know I’m a producer. I’m going to be working on a lot of the videos you see in the shows. I’m going to be working behind the scenes when the live shows are going, the TNT shows. I’ve met with Tony Khan. I’ve met with, obviously, Cody. We do some production here in Atlanta… Cody and I actually live pretty close to each other. So, when I talked to Tony Khan, the idea was I would do Control Centers and on camera stuff but I would not be on the broadcast team because his broadcast team was in place.”

On rumors he was to join the TNT broadcast team:
“I’m not looking to shoe-horn anyone out of the broadcast team – I’m not! Excalibur is a great guy. I know that Alex Marvez, gosh, is a very talented guy. But, I know that Jim Ross has always wanted me with him. I know that – He’s pushed for that. So, I told Tony, “I really want to work for you. But, I don’t want to be the guy who is seen as trying to shoe-horn his way into the broadcast team.” I don’t know what has happened since Tony and I have talked last. I just know I’m going to be part of the show in some capacity. I didn’t expect and I don’t expect right now to be a part of the broadcast team. There’s not been any official announcement that has been made about that. But, I’m just going to have my hand in the broadcasts in some way.”