Tony Khan Refuses To Comment On Reported AEW Release

Last week, it was reported that former New Japan Pro-Wrestling lead English commentator Kevin Kelly had been released from his AEW announcing role. After less than a year with the company as an announcer for AEW Collision, the 56-year-old was said to have been let go as a direct result of a social media tirade that occurred during the same weekend as AEW Revolution.

Across a series of posts to his X account, Kelly accused fellow AEW commentator Ian Riccaboni of libel and damaging “his career and standing in the industry” after Riccaboni criticized Kelly in a private Discord server last year for promoting a film with equivalent views to the QAnon conspiracy theory. He went on to hit out at the promotion’s handling of him on-screen, claiming that he had been made to “sit on the bench” as of late.

Since then, both AEW and Kelly himself have remained silent on the latter’s status with the company. While the bio on Kelly’s X account still states that he is an AEW announcer, he has not been active on the account whatsoever since shortly before the report’s publication. Now, however, AEW President Tony Khan has been pushed on the matter.

In an interview released earlier today, TV Insider asked Khan about Kelly missing last week’s edition of AEW Collision – leaving only Tony Schiavone and Nigel McGuinness at the announce desk – and for an update on his current status with the promotion.

“I prefer not to comment on that, but I appreciate you asking,” Khan replied.

Prior to joining AEW, Kelly made sporadic appearances in the promotion as a commentator for the 2022 and 2023 iterations of AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door. After officially joining in June 2023, Kelly began working full-time for AEW the following November after wrapping up his eight-year stint with New Japan.