Powerhouse Hobbs, Hikaru Shida & Others Weigh In On The Big Swole/Tony Khan/AEW Drama

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UPDATE x 2: AEW Superstar Powerhouse Hobbs has weighed in on the drama surrounding Big Swole and Tony Khan.

In a tweet on Friday night, Hobbs noted that AEW has always been there for him and said that if someone has an issue, all they have to do is pick up the phone and talk to the people they are angry with instead of going public with their frustrations.

AEW President Tony Khan wound up “liking” the tweet, which you can see below:


Also, AEW’s Live Events & Touring Director Rafael Morffi defended Tony, tweeting the following,


And lastly, Hikaru Shida came to Tony Khan’s defense, retweeting his original response to Swole’s comments and adding,

“I love AEW.”



UPDATE: The drama continues.

As we reported earlier here on eWn, Tony Khan sent out a tweet in response to Big Swole’s recent comments about why she left AEW. Lio Rush isn’t happy with the way Tony responded and has taken to Twitter to give his own reaction.

The original story, which you can see below, began when Swole said on her podcast that her AEW departure was due to a “lack of structure and diversity” in the promotion. In response to her comments, Tony Khan tweeted,

”The top 2 @AEW execs are brown (me & Megha)!! Jade, Bowens, Caster, Dante, Nyla, Isiah & Marq Quen all won on tv this month. The TBS Title Tournament has been very diverse. I let Swole’s contract expire as I felt her wrestling wasn’t good enough. #AEWRampage Street Fight TONIGHT!”

Rush then took to Twitter, saying,


”If nobody says something, then I will. Because this is f**ked up and now I’m pissed.”

“APOLOGIZE. @TonyKhan @AEW”


As far as diversity is concerned, the AEW roster currently features Anthony Bowens, Darius Martin, Isiah Kassidy, Tay Conti, Sammy Guevara, Jay Lethal, Lee Johnson, Lee Moriarty, Lio Rush, Marq Quen, Max Caster, Powerhouse Hobbs, Scorpio Sky, Shawn Dean, Sonny Kiss, Brandi Rhodes, Jade Cargill and Red Velvet. Many of these names have been pushed on television in recent weeks.


ORIGINAL: While things were initially cordial between Big Swole and AEW, we’ve now got some serious beef brewing.

We reported back in November that Big Swole and AEW had parted ways after both sides chose not to renew the deal.

Fast forward to now, where Big Swole appeared on the “Callin Show” and blasted AEW for their lack of diversity. You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:

On her discussion with Tony Khan about ending her time in AEW: “I explained to TK that I didn’t want to re-sign because my peace was being disrupted. If anybody knows me or knows myself, if anything is disrupting your peace, it’s time to let it go. It might be scared or be hard, but it’s time to let it go. When Kenny said that, it was the circle coming to an end because Kenny and I would bump heads sometimes throughout my time in AEW. To end it on that note felt good. It felt wonderful to end it at a place where, we didn’t see eye-to-eye, but we were there.”

On why she left the company: “My heart just stopped being in it as the reason why I left AEW. I felt like there were a lot of things, and I told them in my exit interview, there are a lot of things that need to change. I know fans of the company don’t take criticism well sometimes, certain ones. Know this, this is somebody from the inside, the structure is a little off. It’s fine to be loose, but I like to have a little bit more structure.

“I felt like the women shouldn’t have gone through everything they went through just to get on TV or get time. You’re signed to this big company, you should get time. All these men are getting time, but the women weren’t getting anything or you’re not putting people on TV because more people are coming in. Okay, there are more people coming in, but you don’t have enough product for all of these people. Now you have all these people sitting around having two or three minute matches on Dark doesn’t keep me happy. Shoveling more money doesn’t keep a person happy. We’ve seen time and time again, especially in a place where there’s not enough space. There’s no writers in a sense. Not everyone is comfortable writing their own things. Closed mouths don’t get fed. That’s exactly what that environment is. If you are shy and don’t know how to write or are not creative, it’s not going to work unless they want it to work for you. That’s one of their biggest issues.”

On her concerns about the lack of diversity in AEW: “Outside of [lack of structure] their BIGGEST issue, which is diversity. I do not beat around the bush when it comes to diversity and my people. There is no representation, truly, and when there is, it does not come across in the black community as genuine. At all.

“I don’t know why everybody is so afraid to accept it or say it, but it’s not a good look. What happens is, you have this wonderful company that treats people like family, but there is nobody that looks like me that is represented at the top and in the room with them. They are not helping to necessarily influence decisions, but to explain why certain slang and certain word shouldn’t be said. There is no one else who can explain our culture and experience except for us.”

On realizing there was a representation problem in the company: “I knew something was up when my daughter, who loves watching wrestling, she would watch AEW all the time and seldomly watch WWE. She’s not a big fan unless dad [Cedric Alexander] was on TV, which stopped happening after they botched the Hurt Business. She would say, ‘Mommy, there is nobody that looks like me on AEW. There’s nobody that looks like daddy.’

“Then she started watching WWE because she saw Bianca and Big E. She saw herself represented. If that wasn’t a ‘click.’ ‘You are absolutely right. I don’t have an explanation.’ It’s 2021. Why are people saying, ‘it’ll take three years for AEW to have a black champ’? This is a scripted sport. It should not take that long if you have been watching WWE for 50+ years and you know what not to do.”

On things needing to improve in AEW: “I believe that the company is making better strides than before, but a couple of things need to be fixed. You have to be able to call people out because not everything is perfect. I hope they listen to this with an open heart and not just, ‘Ah, she’s just saying this because of XYZ.’ I genuinely want them to succeed. I love this art form. I love wrestling and I want it to succeed and I want the people in it to succeed if they are genuine people. I want WWE to succeed. I want wrestling to flourish and I don’t want it to be a long-forgotten, Tartarian sport where ‘in the old days, we used to wrestle,’ and it’s folklore.

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