AEW Original Felt He Was “Not Being Valued” Prior To His Departure

Frankie Kazarian Cody Rhodes AEW

When AEW first came into existence in 2019, the company looked to sign experience veterans and up-and-comers alike. One of the first men to become All Elite was Frankie Kazarian, who found success in the early days of the promotion as one half of the first AEW World Tag Team Champions alongside fellow SCU member Scorpio Sky when the two defeated the Lucha Brothers in the finals of a tournament on AEW Dynamite.

However, as time went on, SCU became less and less featured on weekly television, and Kazarian could be found more often on Dark and Dark Elevation. In November of 2022, he asked for his release from the company, and he officially became a free agent on January 1st.

Speaking to Eric Bischoff on a recent AdFreeShows podcast, Kazarian opened up about his time in All Elite Wrestling and said that he didn’t feel his time was being valued. However, he said that he took the opportunity to give that time to someone else, having signed with IMPACT Wrestling in January.

“The thing that I have that is most valuable that I can give to anybody is my time. The thing that I can ask the most out of anybody is to give me their time. That’s the one thing that all of us are running out of. Everybody on planet earth. My time in professional wrestling, in my eyes, is long from being done. The time that I have left in the ring, I wanted to give that time to somebody that would value it.

“I felt, at the time in AEW, my time and contributions and talent, was not being valued. That’s okay. I had the opportunity to take my time and give it to somebody else. That’s exactly what I did.” (h/t Fightful)

Frankie Kazarian Recently Opened About About His AEW Release

Speaking in a January interview with Mike Johnson of PWInsider, Kazarian opened up about his decision to ask for his release from All Elite Wrestling and why he ultimately chose to sign with IMPACT. He was asked to clarify whether the decision had anything to do with a November match against Josh Alexander.

“Okay. So timing wise, you’re you’re pretty accurate. So I believe the match against Josh Alexander was November 18th. I still have two years left on my contract, two years to get rolled over. AEW management had contacted me early December, which was only a few weeks after this match. So it’s just kind of a coincidence timing wise.

“But they contacted me 30 days out, which is what they’re supposed to do, and they had basically talked about rolling me over and said you wanted to get the process going on that, and I mean, I basically said simply kind of, you know, thanks, but no thanks.

“I had kind of voiced, you know, concerns and frustrations and goals and aspirations, and had a really good talk with management AND kind of left it there for a while. I still was going to TVs and the last television I was at was in San Antonio, Texas. And I sat down with Megha who, if people don’t know, that’s the head legal in AEW, a very, very bright, brilliant woman, very nice, and had a long conversation in person and gave her the list of the reasons why I wanted to, you know, kind of move on bet on myself.

“That’s kind of the recurring theme here and that now was the time to do it. I wanted to do it so we could…I’ve always done business the right way. I wanted to be amicable about it. I wanted to get out before there was feelings of resistance or bitterness or any of that. So, that message was relayed and they wanted to do right by me, which I respect the hell out of and the deal was done. So, as of January 1st of this year, I was, quote unquote free agent.”