AEW commentator Tony Schiavone spoke about an offer WWE made him back in 2019 on the latest episode of his AEW Unrestricted podcast. Schiavone details his talks with the promotion, as well as early meetings with Tony Khan, which eventually led him to signing to AEW. Hear his full story below.
His early conversations with WWE and Tony Khan:
Bruce told me at the beginning of 2019, ‘I’m going to go back to work for Vince. If you give me a few months, I’ll contact you, because I think you can come to work here.’ He did contact me in the summer and said, ‘Vince wants you to come work for us.’ I said, ‘Great, what are we talking about?’ He said, ‘We don’t know yet, but we’d like for you to be a producer, we’ll be back in touch.’ You got an offer like that and think things may be on the way up. I call Conrad and said I got offered a job from WWE. Two minutes later, I got a text from Cody. He said, ‘I don’t want you to work for WWE.’ I said, ‘Ok, good.’ He asked if I would accept a call from Tony Khan. I said sure. Tony called me, we talked for over an hour and said he was going to have me come to Jacksonville. During this time, WWE kept talking to me and I never told WWE that Tony Khan had an interest, I was just listening. They called and said, ‘We don’t have our ducks in a row yet, we’ll be back in touch.’ Bruce called and said, ‘Vince is interested and wants you to end your career here.’ I said, ‘Okay, then make me an offer.’ They had an HR person call and said, ‘How much do you need?’ I threw the ball way in the air on that and they said they would be in touch.
How WWE said they have nothing for him, which is when he signed with AEW:
Meanwhile, I met with Tony Khan. It was an all-day meeting at the stadium and I knew immediately that I wanted to work there. My wife also told me, ‘If you take a job at WWE, I’ll divorce your ass.’ I didn’t play two sides against the middle, I was just waiting to hear. Tony offered me something phenomenal and I knew I wanted to work there, but I was going to listen to WWE. I did tell Tony that I heard from WWE. He said, ‘If they offer you $1 million, take it.’ I said, ‘Don’t worry, I will.’ [My wife] told me, ‘Doesn’t matter what they offer, don’t take it.’ She has a bad feeling about them. The week of SummerSlam, they told me they would be in touch after SummerSlam. The Monday after SummerSlam, I get a call first thing in the morning and the lady says, ‘Thank you for your interest Mr. Schiavone, we have nothing for you.’ I went, ‘You guys contacted me.’ I immediately contacted Tony and said, ‘I’m in.’
(H/T and transcribed by Fightful)