10 Wrestlers Tony Khan Banned From AEW

"All Friends Wrestling" was never the reality, but some incidents were stranger than fiction...

CM Punk Tony Khan The Elite

Seems seven lifetimes ago, but remember when Sammy Guevara called Eddie Kingston a "fat piece of sh*t" in a pre-taped Rampage promo that was eventually cut from the broadcast?

News breaking days later sent shockwaves around the industry - the speech hadn't aired because 'The Mad King' had tried to batter 'The Spanish God' backstage and removing both the line and the pay-per-view match it was intended to set up seemed like the play.

It was all particularly shocking based on what had been felt about the friendly but competitive AEW dressing room at the time, but seemed broadly charming by the end of an All Out pay-per-view that featured both in pre-show spots and the top draw and Executive Vice Presidents getting into a backstage brawl. Kingston's match with Tomohiro Ishii and the Guevara mixed tag (alongside wife Tay Melo against Ortiz and Ruby Soho) before it cost them money, but ultimately not much else.

Guevara (more on him elsewhere in this list) was back on pay-per-view by Full Gear, and though Kingston remained on Zero Hour duties for one more cycle, it was at least on the other side of the ring to personal hero Jun Akiyama.

Punished but not outright booted from the dressing room altogether, they weren't quite on Tony Khan's direct hit-list after the obvious infraction. Unlike...

10. Hulk Hogan

CM Punk Tony Khan The Elite
Warner Bros

To Tony Khan's message board poster brain being used for good back in 2020, when a needlessly bigoted and contentious tweet from Hulk Hogan's ex-wife Linda threatened to stir up yet more ugly discourse on the bird app before the AEW president got across the bullsh*t with a hard truth.

Tony Khan

Khan had never explicitly mentioned why 'The Hulkster' wasn't welcome in All Elite Wrestling before this moment, but he truthfully never even needed to. Hogan's 2019 WWE return was handled in such a way to purposely try and swerve obvious criticism about his reintroduction following revelations about using racist language years earlier. He'd lost his Hall Of Fame spot as well as other WWE perks before the door was left ajar when Vince McMahon et al clearly believed the dust had settled.

Not so on Dynamite or Rampage, and long may that continue. Even without the ethical concerns, AEW fundamentally existed to be WWE's prominant alternative, not a place that fostered one of its biggest ever stars.

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Michael is a writer, editor, podcaster and presenter for WhatCulture Wrestling, and has been with the organisation over 7 years. He primarily produces written, audio and video content on WWE and AEW, but also provides knowledge and insights on all aspects of the wrestling industry thanks to a passion for it dating back over 30 years. As one third of "The Dadley Boyz", Michael has contributed to the huge rise in popularity of the WhatCulture Wrestling Podcast, earning it top spot in the UK's wrestling podcast charts with well over 50,000,000 total downloads. He has been featured as a wrestling analyst for the Tampa Bay Times and Sports Guys Talking Wrestling, and has covered milestone events in New York, Dallas, Las Vegas, London and Cardiff. Michael's background in media stretches beyond wrestling coverage, with a degree in Journalism from the University Of Sunderland (2:1) and a series of published articles in sports, music and culture magazines The Crack, A Love Supreme and Pilot. When not offering his voice up for daily wrestling podcasts, he can be found losing it singing far too loud watching his favourite bands play live. Follow him on X/Twitter - @MichaelHamflett