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WWF Veteran Is Suing AEW

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Kevin Kelly, a well-known figure in professional wrestling with a storied career across WWE, Ring of Honor, and New Japan Pro-Wrestling, has announced plans to take legal action against All Elite Wrestling (AEW) following his contentious departure from the company.

The Controversy Unfolds

Kelly’s abrupt absence from AEW programming ignited speculation and debate among fans and insiders. The controversy reached a peak when Kelly publicly accused fellow announcer Ian Riccaboni of defamation just before the AEW Revolution pay-per-view. Kelly felt his contributions were undervalued, especially after Riccaboni’s alleged comments.

“But the idea of what I bring to the table is lost there because Ian libeled me. So I sit on the bench, valued by my peers, waiting to get my number called,” Kelly stated.

Legal and Professional Turmoil

Reports soon surfaced suggesting that Kelly’s absence was linked to legal issues. Kelly, who has continued to work in various wrestling-related roles since leaving AEW, confirmed these rumors in an interview with Wise Choices. He explained that the friction with Riccaboni began when Riccaboni labeled him a conspiracy theorist and right-wing radical due to Kelly’s advocacy against child trafficking, inspired by the movie “Sound of Freedom.”

“That really pissed me off. I thought we were friends,” Kelly recounted, expressing his shock and disappointment.

Seeking Resolution

Kelly took his grievances to AEW’s Human Resources, feeling sidelined and hurt by his exclusion from broadcasts. Despite being told the matter was handled internally, he received no clarity on the resolution due to confidentiality policies.

“I get that but I was the victim! I didn’t want him to be fired; I just wanted an apology and to know if this perception has hurt me in the company,” Kelly explained.

The Breaking Point

As frustration mounted, Kelly sought assistance from an AEW psychiatrist but admitted to leaving a heated voicemail for HR and venting his frustrations on social media. These actions ultimately led to his termination.

“I don’t remember what I said, but I’m sure it was stiff. I got let go for the things I was saying publicly about the company on social media and the voice message I had left for the nice HR lady,” Kelly acknowledged.

Legal Action Ahead

In a conversation with Eric Bischoff, Kelly confirmed his intention to sue AEW over his dismissal.

Eric Bischoff: “So what are you going to do? Are you suing them?”

Kevin Kelly: “Yes, of course. Have to.”

Kelly also criticized AEW owner Tony Khan’s management skills, indicating broader dissatisfaction with the company’s handling of internal disputes. The outcome of this legal battle remains to be seen, but it underscores the complex dynamics behind the scenes in professional wrestling and the challenges faced by those in the industry.

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