Former AEW star Frankie Kazarian opens up about the company’s “lack of leadership”

While appearing on Busted Open Radio, former AEW star Frankie Kazarian reflected on his run with the company that started in 2019…

“Not for nothing, that (launch of AEW) was one of the most exciting things to happen to pro wrestling in a while. Because it was the first new, viable, big budget, big business company and I was part of that. Almost the same way I was a part of the early days of TNA, but this was even different, because the landscape of the business had changed so much so, that whole first year, the whole on-sale date, the announcement in Jacksonville, the press conference in Vegas, the first Double or Nothing… All of that was excitement because it was new and it was fresh and it was like, wow, the possibilities are out there, and that was all very positive and stuff I still look back on fondly. The negative stuff, you know, just ultimately the lack of leadership. Inmates running the asylum in a way. No real direction. I think there’s also, at least when I was there… So there were stories that was presented. ‘We’ll do this, this, this and this.’ Okay, but after that, what are you gonna do? That was always a problem. It was always, ‘Oh, I have a story for three weeks.’ Then what? That’s why I think angles are dropped so quickly and everything and I just ultimately think, you know, a lack of leadership is — in this business, you need that guy. That guy with the pencil where the buck stops and I don’t necessarily think that’s the case there.

It could certainly be a case of too much too soon (for AEW). I was astonished that it gained popularity so quickly but at the same time, that showed me that there was a portion of the wrestling audience that were looking for something different, that we’re looking for an alternative. Good, bad or indifferent, they were looking for something. But, in a way I thought, the first nine guys we signed: Myself, Christopher Daniels, (Scorpio) Sky, Cody (Rhodes), The Bucks, Kenny (Omega), (Chris) Jericho. Having those guys, Jericho in particular because he was the guy that, you know, had that been there, done that name value, reputation we needed. But, we had a good crew of guys and then the additional people we signed. Yeah, it was surprising that people took to it so quickly. But, at the same time, I think we had a lot of goodwill. I wanna say that. I think the company had a lot of goodwill and I think maybe that’s finally running out amongst even their hardcore fans. I don’t know, I’m not sure. I don’t follow it as closely as I probably should but, I think that goodwill is — the sands of the hourglass are trickling away.” (quote courtesy of