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Tony Khan Confirms William Regal Is Leaving AEW

William Regal will leave AEW at the end of 2022

AEW President Tony Khan has confirmed William Regal will leave All Elite Wrestling at the end of 2022. Regal asked the promotion not to renew his deal so he could return to WWE as a coach and Khan ultimately granted The Gentleman Villain's request.

Khan announced the news during the ROH Final Battle media call, beginning the call by revealing that his mother suffered a stroke in September before a further stroke in October. Khan then revealed he received a phone call about Regal's request around October 10. 

"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," said Khan.

After Khan was informed, Regal called him the week of October 16 and they discussed the situation further.

"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 with 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," he continued.

Khan told Regal he would think about things due to the impact it would have on AEW's on-screen product and they sat down for further talks on October 21 following a live episode of Rampage from Daily's Place.

"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."

Khan later noted that a condition of Regal's release is that he can return to WWE as a coach but not appear on-screen in 2023. The AEW President also mentioned his mother is now doing better. 

Khan's announcement comes after rumours about Regal's future had swirled in the last week. Regal left AEW Dynamite in an ambulance following an attack from MJF and it was reported soon after that Regal would be leaving AEW and was in negotiations to return to WWE in a backstage role.

Regal previously spent 22 years in WWE from 2000 until his release in January 2022, first as an in-ring talent before he transitioned to a backstage role. At the time of his release, Regal was Director of Talent Development and Head of Global Recruiting.

The Gentleman Villain made his AEW debut at March's Revolution pay-per-view, forming the Blackpool Combat Club with Bryan Danielson and Jon Moxley. Wheeler Yuta and Claudio Castagnoli later joined the faction but Regal would betray Moxley at Full Gear on November 19, costing him the AEW World Championship. 

H/T to Fightful

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Aidan Gibbons

Written by Aidan Gibbons

Journalist/Editor-in-Chief of Cultaholic.com Twitter: @theaidangibbons