Big Swole and AEW mutually parted ways one month ago. When she announced the news, Swole expressed gratitude to the company and wished AEW the best.
On a new episode of her Callin show, Swole discussed some of the reasons behind her decision to leave the promotion. This included AEW’s lack of structure (not every wrestler is comfortable writing their own material, for example), being relegated to two minute matches on Dark, and the lack of opportunities for women. Swole’s heart stopped being in it, so she needed to leave.
She also pointed out AEW’s lack of diversity. Here is Fightful’s transcription of her explanation:
“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.”
“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.”
“...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.”
And here’s the very bad tweet that Tony Khan posted in response to this interview:
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! https://t.co/NprF6I7D6G— Tony Khan (@TonyKhan) January 1, 2022
With this extremely embarrassing response, Khan once again demonstrates that he is some combination of too sensitive, immature, ignorant, impulsive, ego-driven, or self-centered to handle criticism. Last month he got super defensive over a harmless question and gave the most tone deaf answer possible about women’s wrestling. Now here he is telling a Black woman that she’s wrong in how she feels about diversity, implying her wrestling sucks, and then plugging tonight’s episode of Rampage.
This is the man who leads AEW, and garbage like this doesn’t bode well for the future of the promotion.