Kendrick recounts his meeting with Tony Khan after his past comments resurfaced.
After being granted his release from WWE, AEW pushed out the match announcement that Brian Kendrick would be making his debut against Jon Moxley. Hours before Kendrick’s debut in early February, a video resurfaced of him from the early 2010s sharing his conspiracy theories and views regarding the Holocaust and the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.
Kendrick was removed from the show lineup and he detailed what transpired as he was prepping for his AEW debut. He did a virtual signing with K & S WrestleFest and recounted receiving a call from AEW’s lawyer who informed him about the videos that were making the rounds. Kendrick was in his ring gear and prepping for the match, but was not aware of what had been circulating on social media.
Once he was informed, he spoke with his wife and sent an apology text to Bryan Danielson. Kendrick then spoke about the meeting he had with Danielson, Sonjay Dutt and AEW President Tony Khan.
It came about due to opportunity at WWE. I was down there producing and mostly coaching at NXT and I was asked if I was happy and I was… I mean I was happy to coach, happy to produce but I wasn’t satisfied and I wanted to wrestle, so I was given the option, ‘Would you like your release?’ And I said, ‘Yes’ and this was right around November, November of last year. So I put in my time ’till the new year, got my release and then, got the opportunity to go wrestle with AEW, talk with Tony Khan on the phone, they made me music, I had an entrance and everything was ready to go. Show up to Chicago, I’m in my wrestling gear. Few hours from going out there and performing, I get a call from their lawyer who texted me earlier in the day, AEW’s lawyer. She asked if there was a time to talk. I had saw my texts, I said, ‘Yeah, where do you need me?’ Not thinking she wasn’t in the building. Few hours later, I go to call my wife because I’m getting ready to do this match, I get a call from the lawyer and she says, ‘Calm down, calm down.’ I said, ‘Oh boy, I sure am nervous right now’ and she goes, ‘Is it true?’ I said, ‘Is what true?’ And she goes, ‘Well there’s this video out there’ and I said, ‘I don’t know what video.’ Meanwhile, this has already been made the wrestling scoops and she says, ‘Oh, there’s some pretty salacious stuff about the Holocaust, about Sandy Hook’ and I go, ‘Oh! M’fer. I know exactly what you’re talking about. It was from a conspiracy video I did for Highspots about ten years ago, it was 2013’ and that was it. She goes, ‘I think we’re gonna have to pull you from the show.’ I said, ‘I understand.’ I text Bryan Danielson, I said, ‘Hey buddy, I’m sorry for the embarrassment,’ call my wife and she goes, ‘Is it bad?’ I go, ‘Yeah, it’s pretty bad.’ ‘What’s going on?’ I said, ‘I think I’m getting thrown out of the building.’ Then I get a call from Sonjay Dutt, go in to meet him and Bryan Danielson, Tony Khan, my first time actually meeting Tony. We only talked on the phone. He says, ‘I apologize. I don’t think this would have happened if you wouldn’t have quit your job and came here, but this is what we’re dealing with right now so I think it’s for the best that if you grab your gear and leave.’ I said, ‘I understand’ and that was it. I grabbed my gear — well I went from there, from my gear to the dressing room, I grabbed my bag, snuck off into a public restroom, got dressed and then just started walking as far out as I could out in the snow from the building in Chicago and caught myself an Uber and I’ve been in a daze ever since.
Kendrick further added that he understands Tony Khan’s position and making the decision he made. He mentioned that he ‘officially got released’ on May 1st and was being paid on one of his two contracts until he was told there was nothing that could be done with him.
‘Is it completely over? Yeah, I don’t know what I do next. I don’t know if my wife’s gonna stay with me,’ you know? I don’t know any of this stuff [Kendrick recalled what he was thinking when the situation first occurred]. You know, luckily, all my friends, my wife, everybody’s been real supportive. Anybody that could’ve been offended, any of my friends took it for what I believe it was. It was me talking crap, trying to create a buzz and they still love me and [we’re still] friends luckily. I had a few friends who wanted some explanation and they seemed to be satisfied with it, but as far as the business goes, Tony [Khan] doesn’t know me from nothing. He just knows he has a headache walking in, it’s a problem I have to deal with and it’s easier not to use him, so that’s the route they chose. I officially got released on May 1st so it was about three months in limbo, being quasi-employed, getting paid on one of my two contracts there until they said, ‘It’s nothing we can do with you’ and that was it so now I’m figuring my life out.
Following up on that, Brian was asked if returning to WWE ever crossed his mind or if the company would not have been interested in bringing him back after the video came to light.
He said WWE already investigated it prior to his return and told him to not speak about any conspiracies. He guesses that him possibly returning to WWE after the February 2022 situation was not a matter of it being too dire, but more of the fact that he requested his release and then would be asking to come back.
That’s it. So the issues as far as what I said on the Highspots video, well the WWE had already investigated this before I’d been signed. They talked to me, ‘Don’t talk about conspiracies.’ ‘Yeah, sure, not a problem’ and that was it, never talked about ’em again and they were fine to re-sign me. So I don’t think it’s a matter of them not wanting to deal with any of — and this is just me imagining — them not wanting to deal with any of the backlash of that. It’s the — I asked for my release, you know? They gave it to me, now you wanna come crawling back? Well, you know… yeah, I don’t see them wanting me to come back any time soon. They were insulted I would imagine in some respect but the truth is I wanted to wrestle and I wasn’t getting that opportunity anymore in WWE so…
Kendrick is 43 years of age and has wrestled four times since February. Before his exit from WWE, he had been promoted for a match on NXT 2.0 against Parker Boudreaux, formerly known as ‘Harland’.
If the quotes in this article are used, please credit K & S WrestleFest with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.