Former WCW and WWF announcer Tony Schiavone is now calling the action for All Elite Wrestling but fans might not believe why he signed with AEW rather than taking up a WWE officer. Recently, the announcing legend discussed how the WWE wanted to bring him back, but what ultimately led to him signing with AEW.
Schiavone brought up the incredible circumstances during a recent episode of the AEW Unrestricted podcast, mentioning how the WWE contacted him about coming back to the company. Schiavone worked briefly in the WWF jumping to the company in 1989 and staying there until 1990. Schiavone discussed how AEW was just beginning to put the pieces together for their new promotion and they had expressed interest in him. The WWE did as well and the argument can be made that the WWE wanted Schiavone just as much to keep him from AEW as for using him in the WWE. Ringside News provided some highlights from Tony’s podcast:
“During this time, WWE kept talking to me, and I never told WWE that Tony Khan had an interest in me. I was just listening to what they had to say. So, they would call me, and they would say, ‘We don’t have our ducks in a row yet; we’ll be back in touch with you.’”
“Bruce called and said that Vince is very much interested; he wants you to come here and end your career. I said, okay, ‘then make me an offer.’ So, they had an HR person call me, and they say, ‘How much do you need?’ I hyped through the ball way up in the air on that one. And they said, ‘Okay, we’ll be back in touch with you.’”
Based on Tony’s talk, it sounds like AEW was more serious about wanting to bring him in and to use him as a featured player:
“Meanwhile, I go down to talk to Tony Khan, and I met with Tony, it was an all-day meeting at the stadium, and I knew immediately I wanted to work there.
As fans know, Schiavone chose AEW, but the real reason may have less to do with the experience he had with Tony Khan and more with keeping his marriage intact:
“I knew immediately I wanted to work for AEW. And I also had a wife of mine, we’ve been married now 39 years, who told me, ‘If you take a job back with the WWE, I’m gonna divorce your ass.” (transcript form Ringside News)
Schiavone’s reputation for following his wife Lois’ directions (some might say edicts) is well-known to his fans and listeners of his What Happened When podcast. As any veteran husband can attest, listening to upper management is an important way to keep things running smoothly.