Frankie Kazarian, a renowned professional wrestling veteran, recently articulated why he severed his ties with All Elite Wrestling (AEW), revealing that the most admired elements of pro wrestling were absent in the AEW ecosystem.
Kazarian, presently under contract with Impact Wrestling, has had a prolific career for over 25 years. In this period, he has left his mark on various stages, from the independent circuit to his prolonged tenure in TNA/Impact Wrestling and Ring of Honor (ROH), a brief stint in WWE, and finally, his participation in AEW right from its inception in January 2019.
Kazarian's AEW Tenure and Exit
In AEW's early history, Kazarian, alongside Scorpio Sky and Christopher Daniels, formed the So Cal Uncensored team, which etched its name in AEW's chronicles as the first Tag Team Champions in October 2019.
However, Kazarian's journey with AEW concluded towards the end of 2022, following his request for release. He then returned to Impact Wrestling due to underutilization at AEW. His shift was formalized by signing a long-term contract with Impact in January 2023.
During a recent episode of the Kurt Angle Show, hosted by the WWE & TNA/Impact Hall of Famer, Kazarian disclosed the motivations behind his AEW exit. He reminisced, "I was there when this was a germ of an idea...in rooms with Cody and The Bucks and Page and Sky and C.D.
I was committed. I wanted to try to ride this thing out." However, Kazarian ultimately cut short his AEW contract with two years remaining. He added, "It just became apparent that what I like and appreciate about pro wrestling and how I like it presented was not happening at AEW… It's just what they perceive as good television wrestling, and what I do are different things, and just the business model, everything." Kazarian was candid about his underutilization at AEW and how he wagered on his capabilities by stepping away.
He lauded his decision, claiming it to be his best. In his ongoing tenure with Impact Wrestling, Kazarian continues to prove his mettle. He recently scored a significant victory at the Against All Odds pay-per-view, overcoming Eddie Edwards in the opening match, thereby adding another feather to his cap.