After much speculation, Tony Khan confirmed during his Final Battle media briefing on Wednesday, December 7th, that he will be granting the AEW release of William Regal at the end of the month.
Tony Khan opened up his media call addressing the topic on everyone’s mind: William Regal and his AEW status. Following what appeared to be William Regal being written off of AEW TV on Dynamite, reports swirled that he was leaving the company when his deal expires at the end of December. Speculation had begun to spread that Regal was interested in heading back to WWE and Regal himself fanned those flames when speaking at the Wales Comic Con. Regal noted he would be interested in returning to WWE some day but that no one had correctly reported on his situation to this point as only a few people knew the full story. One of those people was of course Khan, who shared a very in-depth account of Regal’s release request during the recent media briefing.
As AEW’s founder and president told reporters, his decision to grant Regal’s release went back several months to when his mother, Ann Carlson Khan, was hospitalized with a stroke shortly after All Out. Mrs. Khan was in the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL but was released as doctors could not identify the cause of her stroke. She went home. and had a second stroke not long after. Returning to the hospital, doctors were able to identify that Mrs. Khan had spots on her heart and that the best way to prevent another stroke would be for her to have an operation. This led to the entire Khan family spending days and nights in the hospital, including Tony, who was burning the candle at both ends with AEW, the Jacksonville Jaguars, and his home life. While this was all going on in his personal life, Khan received the call from William Regal that he did not want to see his AEW contract renewed at the end of the year.
According to Khan, Regal expressed to him a desire to work with his “golden years” with his son, Charlie Dempsey, who debuted in NXT in August. While Khan did not specifically mention WWE by name, he noted that Regal wanted to go back to work with his son, and return to coaching with friends. As Khan also acknowledged, it was a tough situation for AEW as releasing Regal would necessitate another rewrite. Injuries and various other events have led to so many card changes and Khan was weighing the impact of one more. Noting it was a tough decision given how much AEW values William Regal and how involved he was not just for AEW but Ring of Honor as well, Khan ultimately decided to release Regal in part, because of what he was experiencing in his own family. As Khan said on the media briefing, “that whole situation with my mom led me to have a better understanding as to why Regal would want to work with his son and be with family…the last thing I wanted to do was prevent any parent/child from being together…I had to think about family.”
Toward the end of the briefing, Khan did clarify that he believed Regal’s release was conditional on him not appearing on TV in 2023, though he will be able to coach throughout the year.
Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world. As well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. You can catch AEW Dynamite Wednesday nights at 8 PM ET on TBS and AEW Dark: Elevation (Monday nights) and AEW: Dark (Tuesday nights) at 7 PM ET on YouTube. AEW Rampage airs on TNT at 10 PM EST every Friday night.