During a media call to promote the 2022 ROH Final Battle PPV, AEW President Tony Khan addressed reports of William Regal leaving AEW and returning to WWE.
“I got a phone call saying William Regal had approached [Chief Legal Officer] Megha (Parekh) and said, it was all very legitimate and valid stuff, basically, he has a son who works in another wrestling promotion [WWE] and he really wanted us, at the end of the year when we had the option to renew his contract, he was asking that we would not. Nothing bad. We were having a great time working together, but this is an opportunity for him to go back and work in these golden years of his career with his son and do things that he likes to do, coaching, and he has friends that he would like to go back and coach with. It’s a very complex situation for AEW because he’s a huge part of what we’re doing on-screen and we really value him. There are multiple storylines he’s involved in, and as we were going to Toronto that week, obviously, I had a lot on my mind.”
Khan brought up how his mother was dealing with health issues including two strokes around this time period…
“I got a message from Regal, asking if we could talk. I made time to talk to him. I went outside the hospital, I’m sitting on the park bench in front of the Mayo clinic, and we had this really long and good talk. It was very positive. He really had good intentions for why he wanted to go back, and it made a lot of sense to me why he would want to work his son and be with his son. He said to me, and it made sense, ‘Given where you’re sitting right now, does it make sense to you why I would want to go back and be with my son?’ At that point, where I was sitting, it really did make a lot of sense and the last thing I wanted to do in that moment was prevent any parent and any child from being together.”
“I sat with Regal for over 90 minutes in my office after, and this was probably the longest one-on-one in person talk I’ve ever had with him. We talked and I told him I would make major sacrifices to this company to do the best thing for you and your family because this is a family first company. The person I’m releasing later this month, who is still with us through the holiday, has been an essential part of major TV stories and is still an essential part of the TV as of tonight. We’ve done a lot of things to help him create the best situation he can for his family. For Lord Regal, I’m wishing him the best and he knows I wish him the best. We’ve had conversations even this week, and I think he’s grateful for what I did and I know he enjoyed his time here and I enjoyed the time with him. It’s hard to see him go and it was a challenge to make it compelling and he’s not gone yet.” (quotes courtesy of Jeremy Lambert)