CLEVELAND, OH - JANUARY 26: Cody Rhodes and Sammy Guevara prepare to wrestle to to unify the TNT Championship in a ladder match during AEW Dynamite on January 26, 2022, at the Wolstein Center in Cleveland, OH. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
The Biggest Controversies To Hit AEW So Far
Speaking Out
AEW has had some allegations against wrestlers as Jimmy Havoc was accused of sexual assault, Darby Allin was accused of sexual and emotional abuse, and Jay Lethal was accused of harassment. While Havoc was released from the brand, Allin and Lethal are still a part of AEW, and Will Osperay made a controversial debut in 2022 after accusations about blacklisting.
Guevara's Podcast Comments
Discussing his tryout with WWE in 2016, Sammy Guevara commented on Sasha Banks' appearance, saying that he wanted to sexually assault her. As the comments caused a massive outcry, Guevara was suspended indefinitely without pay and forced to undergo sensitivity training while his salary was donated to the Women's Center of Jacksonville.
MJF's Walkout
After being dissatisfied because of inequitable pay, MJF furiously ranted about his payouts being dwarfed by newly-signed "WWE guys" and called Tony Khan a "f*** mark." WarnerMedia executives rendered MJF persona non-grata and scrubbed him from AEW promotional material, although Khan granted Friedman a raise of around 1 million dollars at "All Out."
Kendrick's Canceled Debut
Although Brian Kendrick was supposed to debut in AEW in February 2022, past comments made by Kendrick were publicized, and his appearance was shelved. He had denied Holocaust fatality statistics and claimed the Sandy Hook massacre was a hoax, and he has since expressed regret for making those comments.
Excalibur's Slur Usage
A controversial promo by the color commentator Excalibur during his time in PWG was unearthed in 2020, causing backlash on social media. The promo in question features Excalibur calling The Human Tornado the N-word, as well as using a slur aimed at Latin-descended people. Excalibur has since regretted partaking in the promo.