Ever since Jonathan Gresham lost the ROH World Championship at Ring of Honor’s Death Before Dishonor pay-per-view on Saturday night, talent communications behind the scenes has faced scrutiny — and not for the first time.
In the aftermath of the defeat, reports emerged that the aforementioned former champion had barely heard from AEW and ROH owner Tony Khan before his 11 minute and 30 second loss to Claudio Castagnoli. It was also said that Gresham “cussed out” Khan at the event before requesting to be released from his contract. In addition, Fightful reported the following day that there are genuine communication problems behind the scenes in AEW.
In the past, Chavo Guerrero Jr. has voiced his issues with AEW’s communication with talent behind the curtain. Guerrero Jr. claimed that Khan “ignored” him following a short stint away from the organization to work on other projects — Khan later said that he owed the former WWE Cruiserweight Champion a phone call. On top of that, MJF went on a verbal tirade against Khan live on “AEW Dynamite” on June 1 (though whether that was an authentic performance, part of a storyline, or something in between has yet to be confirmed). MJF has not been seen on television since, and Khan refuses to discuss the situation.
One person who has reportedly experienced issues with lack of communication is former AEW wrestler Joey Janela, who reacted to all of this on Twitterthrowing shade at the talent relations department while also defending Khan.
“It’s really not Tony’s job, it’s talent relations, I’m sure if I texted Tony I would’ve got a text back or a phone cal, l but I wasn’t really trying to push a new deal with other negotiations in place Janela tweeted. “Communication could definitely be better, never said Tony was a ‘ghost.”” Prior to this tweet, Janelad disclosed that Khan was “quite approachable and easy to find” when responding to a fan who claimed that Khan didn’t speak to anyone, only former WWE talent.
Janela became one of AEW’s first signees in January 2019 when the company was first created, signing a three-year deal that still allowed him to perform at independent shows. The Bad Boy’s time with AEW started promisingly, regularly performing at AEW’s major events such as Fyter Fest, where he was defeated by current interim AEW World Champion Jon Moxley in an unsanctioned match, but Janela’s last significant match for the company came in February 2021 when he challenged Darby Allin for the AEW TNT Championship on “AEW Dynamite.” From then on, Janela was restricted to matches on “AEW Dark” before disappearing from programming altogether after January 2022. His contractd expired in May 2022.
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