Since AEW was created Tony Khan has done a great job of keeping his roster happy, and unlike WWE, he hasn’t made many cuts. However, there have been times when he had to be ruthless, whether it was firing someone midway through their contract, or simply opting not to renew a deal at the end of one.
While some of those situations have ended professionally, without note, that isn’t the case for all of them. That has led to some AEW careers ending in the worst possible way at times, whether that was due to how it happened or the aftermath of the situation itself.
9 Marko Stunt
Marko Stunt was a valuable player early on for AEW, bringing a lot of excitement as part of the Jurassic Express faction. However, the company ended up not booking him for a lengthy period, and then his contract expired and wasn’t renewed, which people understood.
However, Stunt then came out and revealed there had been communication issues that didn’t make the company look good. While it wasn’t too messy of a break, it certainly wasn’t the ideal way to end things.
8 Chavo Guerrero
Chavo Guerrero had a similar experience to Marko Stunt when it came to communication from the company, which was ultimately his big grumble. Guerrero had been used as a manager by AEW, but his stint was short because he had commitments to helping with “Young Rock.”
However, he complained about a lack of communication, particularly after his run with Tony Khan not getting back to him. It’s something people were surprised by considering the legacy of the Guerrero family name, and it didn’t highlight AEW positively.
7 William Regal
William Regal’s situation with AEW was a very strange one. He was initially brought in to work backstage but spent all of his time on-screen, and then just as he was involved in a main event storyline he left the company and returned to WWE, which made AEW and Tony Khan look foolish.
While Khan granted Regal’s release in a moment of kindness, the situation didn’t make AEW look like a strong company. Things should’ve been handled better here, and unfortunately, it left a sour taste regarding his run with AEW.
Ivelisse found herself involved in a controversy after competing against Thunder Rosa on AEW Dynamite. The match proved to be awkward with some issues between them that went viral on social media, and it ended up being Ivelisse who was punished for it.
Her time with the company came to an end, which was an unfortunate way for things to happen because there were two women involved in the encounter. It was a situation that became popular on social media and it didn’t make AEW or either wrestler look good in the process.
5 Ace Steel
Ace Steel was predominantly used in a backstage capacity for AEW, although he got to be an on-screen talent due to his relationship with CM Punk. However, that all ended abruptly due to the situation that happened post-All Out in 2022 with the backstage altercation between Punk and The Elite.
Steel got himself involved physically in that by biting Kenny Omega, to the point where he had imprints on his arm for weeks later. This ultimately led him to being cut by the company, although he has since been brought back since Punk’s post-injury return.
4 Jimmy Havoc
Jimmy Havoc was heavily featured early on in AEW’s history, but he ended up being released by the company due to being caught up in the Speaking Out movement. Havoc hasn’t been part of the wrestling business since and rightfully so, with the Englishman being someone who doesn’t deserve that spotlight.
Tony Khan absolutely made the right decision in cutting ties with Havoc in this instance, but it was certainly a terrible way for someone’s time with the company to end.
3 Big Swole
Big Swole was never a massively featured star for AEW’s women’s division, but her departure from the company caused huge waves across the industry. That’s because of the fact Tony Khan took to social media and claimed he got rid of her because she wasn’t good enough inside the ring.
Meanwhile, Swole had called out Khan and AEW in general for not having enough representation and for how the women’s division was booked. It became a massive news story which was a disaster for AEW, nor did it help Swole, with this being a messy split.
2 Lio Rush
Lio Rush’s decision to split with AEW also came on the back of Big Swole’s situation, proving how devastating that was. Rush wasn’t happy with Swole’s treatment and he jumped onto social media to defend her when things started exploding and becoming problematic.
He demanded that Tony Khan apologize to Swole for the situation, and it quickly became clear he wasn’t happy with what was happening. The fact that he then left after such a short stint with AEW wasn’t a good look and was another poor moment.
1 Cody Rhodes
Out of all the wrestlers who have ended their AEW careers, there’s no doubt that Cody Rhodes’ was the worst as far as AEW is concerned. No matter how positively he speaks about the company, his departure made AEW look terrible considering the fact he was an Executive Vice President who opted to leave.
Not only did he leave, but Rhodes returned to WWE, joining the competition as a major star and rival for AEW. It didn’t make AEW look good, and despite the positive relationship he seemed to keep, it was a terrible way to end his time with the company.