There isn’t a hotter yet more unclear story in wrestling today than William Regal’s status in AEW and/or WWE. Not since CM Punk, Ace Steel, Kenny Omega, and the Young Bucks, Nick and Matt Jackson, threw down in the back of the NOW Arena in the greater Chicagoland area has speculation run so high while the actual, tangible details of the story remained so gosh darn unclear.

Is Regal leaving AEW for WWE? Yes, probably so. Did Regal hate his time in AEW? Some say yes, others say no, but at the end of the day, until one party or the other break the silence and explains the situation, fans will forever wonder “what if.”

Fortunately, that day has actually come; during his media call ahead of Ring of Honor Final Battle, Khan detailed how Regal asked for his release back in October while the AEW owner was at home with his mother, who recently suffered a stroke, and went on to detail his remaining timeline within the promotion.

Tony Khan sets the record straight on Regal’s leave from AEW.

After fans, pundits, and reporters alike hit the ground looking for any information on Regal’s contract status, Khan finally let the cat out of the bag, informing the wrestling world that Dave Meltzer’s reporting was correct in that his contract was for three years but that he had option years that were ultimately declined at the “Gentleman Villian’s” request, as he detailed to the media as transcribed by The Wrestling Observer.

“I watched Monday Night Football at my parents’ house with my parents,” Khan said. “My mom was hooked up to a lot of machines and I was just praying that my mom’s surgery would go okay. That same night I got a phone call and it was saying that William Regal has approached Megha and it was all very legitimate, valid stuff.”

“Basically, he’s got a son who works at another wrestling promotion and he really wanted us at the end of the year when we had the option to renew the contract, he was asking that we would not. Nothing bad, we were having a great time working together but that this was an opportunity for him to go back and work in his golden years of his career with his son.”

For those out of the know, Regal’s son is Charlie Dempsey, the former NXT UK standout who has since come over to the states when the sub-brand shuttered its doors earlier in the year. Though he’s yet to have a serious push on NXT proper, things are trending in that direction, especially after his match with Hank Walker on the go-home edition of the show before Deadl1ne.

“It’s a very complex situation for AEW because he’s a huge part of what we’re doing on-screen, and we really value him, and there’s multiple storylines that he’s involved in at this point. As we were going to Toronto that week, obviously I had a lot on my mind. This was the timing of the request from Regal and I really had to think about it. Both those shows in Toronto were very successful and then at the end of the week, my mom had this heart surgery and when I got back, my dad and my sister had already been there at the hospital since the previous day.”

“My mom was asleep and I got a message from Regal and it was asking if we could talk. I made time to talk to him and I went outside the hospital. So, I’m sitting out on a park bench out in front of the Mayo clinic on Sunday night and we had this really long, good talk and it was very positive. He really had good intentions, I’d like to say, for why he wanted to go back. It made a lot of sense to me that he would want to work with his son and be with his son.”

“Frankly, the last thing I wanted to do at that moment was prevent any parent and any child, any son, from being together as I was sitting on a park bench, Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, where my mom was sleeping inside recovering from a major operation.”

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Considering AEW has recently reunited real-life married couples Juice Robinson and Toni Storm, and Jon Moxley and Renee Paquette in AEW, it’s hard to argue with Khan’s point.

“Later that week, we had Rampage live in Daily’s Place in Jacksonville and I sat with Regal for over 90 minutes in my office afterward. This was probably the longest in-person talk I ever had with him. We talked and I told him I’ll make major sacrifices to this company to do the best thing for you and your family because this is a family-first company. The person I’m releasing later this month, who is still with us through the holidays, has been an essential part of multiple TV stories and is still an essential part of the TV as of tonight and we’ve done a lot of things to help him create the best situation he can for his family. For me, my mom is doing really well and we’re really grateful.”

“I probably won’t be able to facilitate every family reunion but I do try to make this a family-first company and especially in this situation, that’s what we’ve done.”

Could Khan allow Andrade to leave AEW next to pursue a reunion with his wife, Charlotte Flair? Or how about Christian Cage, who technically isn’t married to Edge but is part of one of the most popular tag teams of all time and may want to do one final run with his fellow Ontarian? Only time will tell, but after watching AEW snatch up many of the performers WWE released during the pandemic, it’s interesting to see who has bought in to being #AllElite and who felt the grass isn’t greener on the other side.