Kevin Kelly Reveals He’s Suing AEW, Comments On AEW’s Backstage Morale

During his special guest appearance on Eric Bischoff’s Wise Choices podcast, former AEW/ROH commentator Kevin Kelly revealed that he was suing AEW for firing him.

Kelly began his tenure with AEW in June as the lead play-by-play announcer when the promotion’s Collision program debuted on TNT, alongside Nigel McGuinness, before Tony Schiavone joined the booth.

Kelly stated on social media in March that he had been “libeled” by Ian, who is believed to be Ian Riccaboni, and was pushed aside when asked on Twitter why he was not being utilized more. PWTorch later reported that Kelly was released because his social media posts accused Riccaboni of sabotaging his career and libel.

Bischoff asked, “So what are you gonna do? suing them?”

Kelly replied, “Yeah, of course.”

Bischoff responded, “That’s unfortunate. Tell me about Tony Khan backstage. I think I did two AEW shows early on. Didn’t really spend a lot of time backstage. My impression is that Tony Khan has no understanding at all of creative, has no understanding at all of television production, has no understanding at all of how to format a show. Am I right? Am I wrong?”

Kelly responded, “He’s got good people around him that he doesn’t utilize. His vision of what wrestling is, for me, works best on a small scale. People always wonder why did PWG stay small. Well, they knew, I think they knew, that if they went big it would get stale fast. And they had to stay small to keep it special to keep it niche. He wants to appeal to a niche audience with his vision of wrestling. But he thinks he can convince the people to watch on a grand scale. And the other thing that he’s done is he’s made himself the face of the company. He’s the one….that’s going now on TV interviews. He and I saw him and Darby Allin. We’re doing like a TV promotion. Local morning news somewhere. It’s like, man, that’s not his skill set.”

Bischoff mentioned Khan being an analytics guy, and Kelly stated that Khan can spin the numbers. Kelly was then asked about backstage morale at AEW.

Kelly stated, “It’s the same as has been reported. What I always noticed was that there were a lot of people that were there that weren’t being used, that wanted to be used, that had creative ideas, but that weren’t getting through. So there would be a conga line of people outside Tony’s office waiting to get in to see him. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But I don’t ever remember a long line of wrestlers wanting to get into see Vince [McMahon], there were people to talk to, you could talk to Pat Patterson and Jerry Brisco. You could talk to a Jack Lanza, there were agents that were respected, that had Vince’s ear that could take your message and say, ‘Hey, so and so’s not happy with what’s going on.’ And Vince would say ‘Tell him this to placate him or bring him in, and I’ll talk to him.’ And Vince then could put the Vince whammy on them and everything. You go in pissed as could be, and he ‘d come out and pat me on the back and shake your hand. ‘What changed? Nothing really. I’m just happy now.’”

You can check out the complete podcast below:

(h/t to for the transcription)