Backstage Update On Tony Schiavone's Absence From AEW Collision

The March 30, 2024 edition of "AEW Collision" featured some big moments, highly intense matches, and more excitement building towards the AEW Dynasty pay-per-view on April 21. However, there was one notable change at the commentary desk as Ian Riccaboni was sitting alongside Nigel McGuinness for the show instead of Tony Schiavone.

On the most recent edition of "Wrestling Observer Radio," Dave Meltzer revealed that Riccaboni was only filling in for the evening due to a personal matter in Schiavone's life. 

"Ian Riccaboni was there, it's not a permanent move for him to be there. What happened was Tony Schiavone's dog died," Meltzer said. "Best wishes to Tony Schiavone, really, really hard day for him, but he came and he was there. They didn't know, Tony certainly could have taken it off and there would have been no heat. Because of that, they brought Ian up there."

Some people had questioned Riccaboni's appearance after the recent firing of Kevin Kelly, in which the former WWE and NJPW commentator named Riccaboni in a series of tweets that ultimately led to his release from the company. Riccaboni is the regular voice of ROH programming which is often taped on the same night as "AEW Collision," meaning that, despite Schiavone wanting to work, Riccaboni was brought in as a precaution.

Schiavone, who has been a part of the "AEW Collision" announce team since late 2023, has revealed that while he enjoys working alongside Excalibur and Taz on "AEW Dynamite," he still felt like he had one more run as a play-by-play commentator, a role he had in WCW.

Please credit "Wrestling Observer Radio" when using quotes from this article, and give a H/T to Rllegends for the transcription.