Ex-AEW Star Says Inmates Are Running The Asylum

Tony Khan AEW

A former champion in AEW has questioned the storytelling issues that exist in the company.

When AEW launched in 2019, they brought in many experienced wrestlers who weren’t necessarily big names in WWE, but they were people who have had a lot of television time in other places like TNA and Ring of Honor.

One of the first groups that got consistent television time was the SoCal Uncensored trio of Frankie Kazarian, Christopher Daniels, and Scorpio Sky. The trio did so well that Kazarian & Sky became AEW’s first Tag Team Champions in October 2019.

While Daniels and Sky remain a part of AEW, Kazarian asked for and was granted his release in late 2022. Since departing, Kazarian returned to TNA Wrestling, which is where he has spent most of his 20+ year career.

During a recent appearance on Busted Open Radio, Kazarian spoke about the changes he saw within AEW while claiming the company had no real direction.

The negative stuff, you know, just ultimately the lack of leadership. Inmates running the asylum in a way. No real direction. I think there’s also, at least when I was there… So there were stories that was presented. ‘We’ll do this, this, this and this.’ Okay, but after that, what are you gonna do? That was always a problem.”

“It was always, ‘Oh, I have a story for three weeks.’ Then what? That’s why I think angles are dropped so quickly and everything and I just ultimately think, you know, a lack of leadership is — in this business, you need that guy. That guy with the pencil where the buck stops and I don’t necessarily think that’s the case there.”

Considering that AEW Owner & CEO Tony Khan is also the company’s main booker in charge of the storylines, it seemed as though Kazarian was taking a direct shot at the boss.

Frankie Kazarian Was Surprised AEW Did So Well As Quickly As It Did

As he continued, Kazarian spoke about the early days of AEW and how fans may be losing interest in the product.

“It could certainly be a case of too much too soon (for AEW). I was astonished that it gained popularity so quickly but at the same time, that showed me that there was a portion of the wrestling audience that were looking for something different, that we’re looking for an alternative. Good, bad or indifferent, they were looking for something.”

“But, in a way I thought, the first nine guys we signed: Myself, Christopher Daniels, (Scorpio) Sky, Cody (Rhodes), The Bucks, Kenny (Omega), (Chris) Jericho. Having those guys, Jericho in particular because he was the guy that, you know, had that been there, done that name value, reputation we needed. But, we had a good crew of guys and then the additional people we signed.”

Yeah, it was surprising that people took to it so quickly. But, at the same time, I think we had a lot of goodwill. I wanna say that. I think the company had a lot of goodwill and I think maybe that’s finally running out amongst even their hardcore fans. I don’t know, I’m not sure.”

“I don’t follow it as closely as I probably should but, I think that goodwill is — the sands of the hourglass are trickling away.”

H/T PostWrestling