Tony Khan has discussed his negotiations with Jade Cargill before she joined WWE.
The speculation over Jade Cargill’s future came to an end on the 26th of September when WWE announced that they had signed a multi-year deal with the former AEW star.
WWE has heavily promoted the signing of Cargill although it is not yet public knowledge which brand the star will end up on in the company – something she says has already been decided.
Speaking at the post-WrestleDream press conference, Tony Khan discussed his negotiations with Cargill as the time ticked down on her contract and his surprise when she rejected an offer that was for more than she originally asked for:
“I knew Jade’s contract had been ticking down and we were talking about a new contract and I was very interested in Jade coming back and we were having a negotiation. I made a very big offer and I thought it was a very fair offer. I think she was considering it, and then she asked for a bigger offer and then I went up again, and I kind of thought that was going to do it. Then, it didn’t, which I was surprised because, to be honest, I came up to a number that was higher than her original ask.
“I don’t know what I would have had to do at that point. I was a little surprised. I did really hope that Jade would be back. I think I tried to handle it, when we were down to the nitty gritty and we were down to the final couple of weeks and we still hadn’t agreed to something, then it was at the point where I said, ‘if you aren’t going to stay, I’m going to give you the best possible exit.’
“I have only good things to say about Jade. I really enjoyed working with her. She was a great part of AEW, she is always welcome here, I tried to give her the best possible send-off I could.”
Tony Khan wanted to give Jade Cargill a “classy” AEW send-off
Khan also noted that at the time there was no natural way to lead to a return match between Cargill and her final AEW opponent Kris Statlander so he had Cargill run in and attack Statlander to lead to another match between the two:
“The natural thing was, there was no rematch against Kris Statlander, so I had her do a run-in knowing it would set up the match where she would likely finish up unless we came to an agreement at the last minute, which I was really still hoping would happen, down to the last minute.
“I only have positive things to say. I thought I had a good plan where, ‘if this is it, that’s where we’ll finish up.’ When she did the segment where she returned and did the run-in, Tony Schiavone came to the monitor at my desk and said, ‘you’re a classy guy, boss.’ I think he meant it, it was a classy way to send her off.
“I try to make this a great home for wrestlers and I want people to see whether you’re coming in or coming out, we’re going to treat you well and I respect and value Jade, so I wanted to give her a big send-off. I wish her the best and she would always be welcome back if she wanted to come back.”
While Tony Khan may be rueing missing the chance to keep Jade Cargill in AEW, he will no doubt be delighted at signing Adam Copeland to a full-time AEW contract after the WWE Hall of Famer made his debut at WrestleDream.