In a summer where Vince McMahon was forced to resign from WWE amidst scandal, AEW probably didn’t imagine they’d be the company forced to address rumor and criticism of their backstage environment.
But here we are. While each new report about how happy everyone is WWE under Stephanie McMahon, Nick Khan, and especially Triple H’s leadership, we continue to hear about unhappiness with booking, communication, pay, and politics at Tony Khan’s fed.
Which is why TK assembled a new, expanded talent relations team. One of the folks running point on that operation is Tony Schiavone. Before they got into WCW history on their What Happened When podcast, Conrad Thompson checked in with Schiavone about his new gig:
“Enjoy my job, enjoy my new responsibilities with the company. They are challenging — but those are challenges that I readily accepted when I took the job. And I’m seeing a whole new part of wrestling, and wrestlers that I didn’t see before…
“Yeah, I think [the job is ‘mostly fun’, as Thompson put it]. There’s some challenges, as you know, and of course the internet is going crazy about… this or that. And I’m not going to get into it because — I’m gonna say this right now. Things are not as bad as bullshit people on the internet would say. Not even close to it. We’ve got some things in place now that I think are going to make us better than ever. So there you go. There’s my AEW update.”
Schaivone’s comments are in line with other things he’s said since taking on his new role in talent relations… with a little added jab at the dirt sheets and IWC. Hey, he’d know better than us, and if rallying against the internet bullshit sayers helps keep the roster unified and motivated… most of us can take it.
Without much detail on what the “things in place now” to “make [AEW] better than ever”, it’s hard to say much more about the new team’s approach. The proof will be in whether we see people re-signing with AEW, and hear fewer reports of backstage dysfunction.
Until then, the internet is gonna internet. To twist a Jade Cargill turn of phrase for my own purposes, Tony needs to ignore the shit.