Various: More on Stu Grayson’s AEW Departure, Tino Sabbatelli on AEW Heat & WWE Return, Indies

More on Stu Grayson’s AEW Departure

As noted before, Stu Grayson was recently removed from AEW’s official roster page due to his contract with the company being rumored to have recently expired.

Fightful Select reported that their sources confirmed that Grayson’s contract with AEW had recently expired as the reason for his removal from the company’s roster page.

It was reported that Grayson’s contract expired on May 1st following both sides not being able to come to terms for a new deal. It was also reported that AEW officials have left the door open to Grayson for a potential return to the company.

Tino Sabbatelli Comments on His Heat During His Brief Time in AEW & Second Release from WWE

A recent episode of the Insight with Chris Van Vliet podcast had former WWE and talent Tino Sabbatelli as the guest. One of the topics discussed included Sabbatelli’s thoughts on him being accused as the person spoiling AEW tapings results during his brief time in the company and AEW’s potential plans for him had things gone better for him.

“So here’s the thing. I don’t know what happened or where it went wrong, this is the truth, that bridge was burned, and I don’t know how. Tony Khan knows me from football, and when WWE offered me that contract, I actually texted Billy Gunn about it. They [AEW] hadn’t offered me anything, Triple H was the one who offered me something. I sent a nice text to Billy Gunn to thank [him] for the opportunity and I thought it was all good. But when I got released again, someone reached out to AEW and said to Tony Khan, ‘Tino is a free agent and he’s going to be a star.’ Tony said to him, and I am paraphrasing, but Tony is upset I went back to WWE. Then 3 months ago, Andrade approaches me and said that he wanted me to be in a group with him. Me and Andrade have always had a good relationship. But he texted me personally and we shot a vignette together. He wanted to bring a group like Evolution to AEW. We shot the video and spent the whole day in Miami. He texted me back and said, ‘Tony Khan likes the idea but no Tino.’ I’m like, ‘What do you mean? I would love to sit and talk to Tony,’ he might have been upset that I had one match and then went back to WWE …

Oh man, I had to laugh. If anybody knows me, I don’t know where to begin with this. I am an internet dummy, I don’t know what a dirt sheet is, I am not on Twitter and I don’t use Instagram. So when someone tagged me and said, ‘You hear what Chris Jericho said about you.’ What was it, NXT reject? At first I ignored it but people started to bring it up more and more, so I started to look into it. I’m like what is this dude talking about? For me to go on the internet and speak on something that I know nothing about? No disrespect, I don’t care about that much. When IMPACT called, Terry Taylor asked me, I’m like I don’t know what a dirt sheet is. God honest truth, I don’t know what I would even say. Maybe that is why Tony Khan doesn’t like me that much.”

Sabbatelli also gave his thoughts about his second release from WWE in June of 2021 following his return from AEW.

“Oh, I know why it happened, but they are not allowed to publicly say. NXT is all different now, and Vince is in a fad all of a sudden. I think it’s a business plan but he wants young. I couldn’t wrap my head around that for 2 reasons. First, they all think that I am in my 20s, but is anyone built like me? If I am out of shape then fine but really? I had a conversation with John Laurinaitis, and at the end, I wanted to ask him if [he] knew who I was. The conversation was so generic, like he was talking to a script. He told me personally that I couldn’t fathom. He couldn’t say age, but it was age. I think Vince saw the name Tino, been on NXT for 6 years and not a star? Then get him out.”

Transcript h/t:

Misc. Wrestling News & Notes

As noted before, The Briscoe Brothers pulled out of their scheduled bookings for GCW and PWG this past weekend due to a family-related medical issue involving Jay Briscoe’s pregnant wife. Jay Briscoe recently provided an update on Twitter stating that his wife was recently discharged from the hospital and doctors were able to prevent her from giving birth prematurely.

Wrestling announcer Joe Dombrowski announced that he recently signed an official contract with Lucha Libre AAA to be their official English lead play-by-play announcer for their events for the foreseeable future. Dombrowski recently worked for AAA at this past Saturday’s Triplemania XXX: Monterrey event as part of the English commentary team alongside Larry Legend.

Booker T’s Reality Of Wrestling promotion announced that they have recently signed a television contract with television cable network CW39 Houston to air their weekly shows starting this Saturday.

Impact Wrestling recently announced two new matches for the card of their Under Siege 2022 event on May 7th in Newport, Kentucky:

  • “Speedball” Mike Bailey vs. Chris Sabin
  • Pre-show: Madison Rayne vs. Gisele Shaw

NJPW recently announced a new match for the card of their Capital Collision event on May 14th in Washington, DC:

  • IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship – Juice Robinson vs. Will Ospreay vs. Jon Moxley vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi (c)

During the Q&A session of a recent episode of the Something to Wrestle with Bruce Prichard podcast, co-host Prichard stated that had WCW hired him instead of Vince Russo at the time, his plan likely would have been to cause the company to get sold to WWE a lot sooner than had happened. (Transcript h/t:

“I don’t know if I would’ve accepted [an offer from WCW] first of all, but… I don’t know. You know what I would’ve probably tried to do? Is I probably would’ve tried to expedite the acquisition a lot sooner.”