All Elite Wrestling has been very lenient when it comes to outside bookings of their stars as the company has been giving them permission to take Indie bookings and even participate in tournaments and other events/shows outside of the promotion. This has changed in recent months due to the current situation with the COVID-19 pandemic and All Elite Wrestling has been more cautious when it comes to where and when their talents can work.
As an example, AEW Star Joey Janela was pulled from an AEW #1 contender’s tournament as he recently faced AJ Gray in an Indie event at GCW where his opponent had tested positive for COVID-19. Even though Janela himself did not test positive for COVID, his exposure to AJ Gray, who did test positive for COVID, led to AEW playing it safe and pulling Joey from his scheduled match.
AEW President and CEO Tony Khan recently had a conversation with Sports Illustrated, where he talked about having to enforce stricter restrictions and guidelines on AEW talents when it comes to taking Indie or outside bookings not related to AEW.
This is what Tony Khan said:
“I implemented a policy where people were only supposed to work indie shows when certain conditions were met.” “There have been times when people did not take that seriously, so I have tightened up the restrictions. I’ll still allow it under certain conditions, but people need to look me in the eye and say that the conditions are being met. Our talent and their opponent need to be tested before the show, and there also needs to be a good reason why the match is important.”
“This is important for everyone’s safety, as well as important for our show. I’ve been flexible in the past because I thought it was good for the talent to have the opportunity to earn, as well as great for the fans and the indies as a whole. We also don’t run every night of the week, so it allows for talent to get extra reps, too. So we have a policy, and I’ll be enforcing it strictly.”
“I am not going to end it, but we are taking a closer look at it. More so now than ever, people need to come to me directly about this. I am going to be strict about what people can and can’t do, but I won’t say you won’t see people make special appearances on independent shows because I think there is a lot of merit to that.”