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Big Swole Says AEW Lacks Diversity, Tony Khan Responds

Pro wrestling veteran Big Swole (Aerial Hull), who is married to WWE Superstar Cedric Alexander, made her All Elite Wrestling debut at the 2019 All Out PPV, when she competed in the Casino Battle Royale. In December 2019, it was announced that Big Swole had signed a contract with All Elite Wrestling. She worked in AEW for almost 2 years and had a great in-ring career before making a shocking announcement on November 30th that she was leaving the company. Swole’s last AEW match took place on the September 21st episode of AEW Dark, when she defeated Allie Katch in Women’s Division Singles action.

Despite how successful her AEW in-ring career looked like from a fans’ perspective and point of view, Big Swole told a different story when she discussed her AEW career and departure on an episode of her “Swole World” show on Call-In, where she mentioned having a conversation with AEW President Tony Khan that she didn’t want to re-sign with the company because her peace was being disrupted and she didn’t see eye-to-eye with AEW EVP Kenny Omega at times.

This is what Big Swole said:

“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.”

Big Swole also spoke about some of the other reasons she left AEW, which is she didn’t have the heart to do it anymore and she even revealed a number of things that needed to change in the company. First off is that she feels the company’s structure is a little off and she feels like women shouldn’t have to go through everything they went through just to get on TV or get time as being signed to a big pro wrestling company means you should get time, just like how all these men are getting time.

Swole also spoke about how because more people are coming in, AEW doesn’t have enough product for all of the talent, so some of them are left having 2 or 3 minute matches on Dark, which does not make her happy as getting more money doesn’t necessarily keep a person happy. Swole also mentioned that AEW is a place where in a sense there are no writers and not everyone is comfortable writing their own stuff and that is exactly the environment AEW has, which is if you don’t know how to write or you aren’t in any way creative, then it won’t work out for you unless they want it to work for you.

This is what Big Swole said:

“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.”

Big Swole also spoke about how outside of lack of structure the biggest issue in AEW is diversity and the black community in AEW has no representation and is not genuine.

This is what Big Swole said:

“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.”

Big Swole also spoke about how it was her daughter who said there’s nobody in AEW that looks like her or her dad Cedric Alexander to make the former AEW Star realize there was a lack of representation of the black community within All Elite Wrestling, then she started watching WWE because she saw herself represented with Bianca Belair and Big E and that it shouldn’t take that long for a company to have a black World Champion.

This is what Big Swole said:

“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.”

Big Swole then spoke about how there’s no bad blood between herself and AEW CEO Tony Khan and how she just wants some things to change in the landscape of wrestling, which is diversity as she wants every race and ethnicity to get the love and opportunity they deserve, not just the Blacks, but also Asians and Indians as well as Latinos and Hispanics. Swole also spoke about how she wants AEW and the WWE to succeed as she loves wrestling and she would want the industry to flourish.

This is what Big Swole said:

“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.”

“I want nothing but the best, but I also want the change and application to happen. With promises you made to be diverse, I want to see that. Not just with black people. I would love to see a Latino or Hispanic or more Asians. I feel like Asians and Indians do not get the love. They just don’t. It’s such a big gap. I hate the fact that I turn on the TV and it’s the same stuff over and over again. Hopefully, they get the message. Me leaving, honestly, was not bad. There is no bad blood between TK and I. I just don’t like my peace being disrupted. I didn’t like certain things and other things that I will take to my grave. The diversity. That’s what matters.”

Shortly after Big Swole’s comments were trending on social media, AEW President Tony Khan took to his Twitter and responded to what Swole had to say in regards to AEW lacking structure and diversity that eventually led to her departure. Khan mentioned the fact that he and Megha Parekh, who is AEW’s Chief Legal Counsel as well as the SVP and Chief Legal Officer of the Jacksonville Jaguars, are the top two executives in the company and stars such as Jade Cargill, The Acclaimed, Private Party, Dante Martin, and Nyla Rose have had wins on AEW TV this month.

Khan also revealed the reason he let Swole’s contract with AEW expire is he felt her wrestling wasn’t good enough. As of this writing, Big Swole has yet to respond to Tony Khan’s tweet.

You can check out Tony Khan’s tweet below:

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