Tony Schiavone has revealed how his wife of 39 years told him she’d divorce him if he took a job with WWE, but said he immediately knew he wanted to work with AEW.
“I knew immediately I wanted to work [for AEW], and I also had a wife of mine, we’ve been married now 39 years, who told me, ‘If you take a job back with the WWE, I’m gonna divorce your ass.’”
Schiavone, of course, did work for WWE in the past, for a brief stint between 1989 and 1990 before joining WCW. The AEW commentator has been vocal about how challenging it was to uproot his family – but did state that the company reached out to him in 2019.
“Tony called me, we talked for over an hour and said he was going to have me come to Jacksonville. During this time, WWE kept talking to me and I never told WWE that Tony Khan had an interest, I was just listening. They called and said, ‘We don’t have our ducks in a row yet, we’ll be back in touch.’”
The winner of the Inside The Ropes Magazine End Of Year 2020 Award for Commentator Of The Year is…
— Inside The Ropes (@Inside_TheRopes) January 7, 2021
Tony Schiavone would also go on to reflect on the conclusion of his run with WCW and, specifically, the criticism he would receive. While Inside The Ropes named Schiavone 2020’s best commentator, Wrestling Observer Newsletter named Schiavone the worst TV announcer in 1999 and 2000.
“It was not a good time, and I’ve had people since then say, ‘Oh the matches were so bad that it dragged you down.’ Well, that’s an excuse. When the matches are really bad is when you have to shine, is when you have to up your game, and I was a little too much over the top.
“And I go back and listen to those days, ‘99 and ‘00. I go back and listen to those days or watch that, and it bugs me because I was nothing but a hype machine. And I tried to overhype it, and I was pushed to do that, too and I get it. But still, you’ve got to accept responsibility for, I could have done a much better job. And I was kind of checked out at that time. I get it, I was bad, we were bad.”
The full episode of AEW Unrestricted with Tony Schiavone is available here.