Tino Sabbatelli thinks Tony Khan was not pleased that he went back to WWE, talks second release

Originally published at Tino Sabbatelli thinks Tony Khan was not pleased that he went back to WWE, talks second release

Sabbatelli looks back on his stint in AEW and being released from WWE for a second time.

During the summer of 2020, Tino Sabbatelli had his first experience in pro wrestling outside of WWE when he competed on AEW Dark. Several months later, Sabbatelli returned to WWE but did not wrestle during that return run.

Chris Van Vliet caught up with Sabbatelli and asked him about that period of his career. Sabbatelli feels that AEW President Tony Khan was not too pleased about him heading back to WWE. He later learned from Andrade El Idolo that there was an idea in place for Tino and Andrade to be in a group together.

So here’s the thing. I don’t know what happened or where it went wrong, this is the truth, that bridge was burned, and I don’t know how. Tony Khan knows me from football, and when WWE offered me that contract, I actually texted Billy Gunn about it. They for the opportunity and I thought it was all good. But when I got released again, someone reached out to AEW and said to Tony Khan, ‘Tino is a free agent and he’s going to be a star.’ Tony said to him, and I am paraphrasing, but Tony is upset I went back to WWE. Then 3 months ago, Andrade approaches me and said that he wanted me to be in a group with him. Me and Andrade have always had a good relationship. But he texted me personally and we shot a vignette together. He wanted to bring a group like Evolution to AEW. We shot the video and spent the whole day in Miami. He texted me back and said, ‘Tony Khan likes the idea but no Tino.’ I’m like, ‘What do you mean? I would love to sit and talk to Tony,’ he might have been upset that I had one match and then went back to WWE.

Around the time that Sabbatelli returned to WWE, it was reported by Fightful Select that talents within AEW believed Sabbatelli had been leaking AEW spoilers. Chris Jericho labeled the individual responsible for the leaks as an ‘NXT reject’.

Sabbatelli denies that he was doing that and guesses that-that is why Tony Khan may not be fond of him.

Oh man, I had to laugh. If anybody knows me, I don’t know where to begin with this. I am an internet dummy, I don’t know what a dirt sheet is, I am not on Twitter and I don’t use Instagram. So when someone tagged me and said, ‘You hear what Chris Jericho said about you.’ What was it, NXT reject? At first I ignored it but people started to bring it up more and more, so I started to look into it. I’m like what is this dude talking about? For me to go on the internet and speak on something that I know nothing about? No disrespect, I don’t care about that much. When IMPACT called, Terry Taylor asked me, I’m like I don’t know what a dirt sheet is. God honest truth, I don’t know what I would even say. Maybe that is why Tony Khan doesn’t like me that much.

In June of 2021, Sabbatelli was released from WWE for a second time. He feels that it was due to his age and NXT getting the proverbial train moving in a different direction. He recounted his conversation with John Lauranaitis and said it felt like Laurinaitis was reading a script.

Oh, I know why it happened, but they are not allowed to publicly say. NXT is all different now, and Vince is in a fad all of a sudden. I think it’s a business plan but he wants young. I couldn’t wrap my head around that for 2 reasons. First, they all think that I am in my 20s, but is anyone built like me? If I am out of shape then fine but really? I had a conversation with John Laurinaitis, and at the end, I wanted to ask him if knew who I was. The conversation was so generic, like he was talking to a script. He told me personally that I couldn’t fathom. He couldn’t say age, but it was age. I think Vince saw the name Tino, been on NXT for 6 years and not a star? Then get him out.

Tino began his career in wrestling in 2015. His last sanctioned match took place at the aforementioned AEW Dark taping in the summer of 2020.

Feels like he’s self-aggrandizing a bit in assuming that Tony Khan has a hard-fast opinion about him at all, let alone blaming him for leaks. Maybe Tony Khan, like NXT doesn’t see a place for him in the product? Has anyone spoken to him about how he comes off on-screen and off like a generic create-a-wrestler?