Kevin Kelly said he's planning to sue AEW following his controversial firing from the company. Screen grab: AEW

Three months after Kevin Kelly was reportedly fired by All Elite Wrestling (AEW), the former announcer is taking action.

Appearing on Eric Bischoff’s Wise Choices podcast, Kelly discussed his controversial exit from the pro wrestling promotion. And in doing so, Kelly revealed that he’s suing AEW over the circumstances that led to his firing.

The 57-year-old Kelly first joined AEW last year to serve as the lead play-by-play announcer of its weekly Saturday program, AEW Collision. But shortly after being hired by the company, Kelly says he became engulfed in a personal feud with fellow AEW announcer Ian Riccaboni, who he says criticized him on a pro wrestling Discord server, taking exception to his promotion of the controversial film, Sound of Freedom.

Feeling as if he had been labeled a right-wing conspiracy theorist on as a result of Riccaboni’s comments, Kelly says he took the matter to AEW’s human resources department in November. But while he waited for HR to follow up, Tony Schiavone was added to the Collision broadcast team as the show’s lead announcer, while Kelly took exception to being the only announcer not included on AEW’s pay-per-views.

“I kind of just wanted an apology and to be able to move on,” Kelly told Bischoff. “I also wanted to wanted to know is this affecting the perception of me within the walls of the company?”

Kelly said he was assured that wasn’t the case, but after being left the Collision leading into the AEW Revolution pay-per-view in March — which marked the legendary wrestler Sting’s retirement — he went on a social media tirade. He also told Bischoff that he left an angry message with the HR representative, insisting that he was sober while doing so.

“I went off,” Kelly said. “I don’t remember what I said [to the HR rep], Eric, but I’m sure it was stiff.”

Kelly said that the matter affected his mental health to the point that he was attempting to see AEW’s in-house psychiatrist. Instead, he says he was fired for the remarks he made on social media and the message he left with the HR rep.

“So what are you going to do? You suing them?” Bischoff asked.

“Yeah, of course,” Kelly replied. “You have to.”

It’s unclear whether Kelly has already filed his lawsuit or if he’s planning to in the future. AEW has yet to respond to a request for comment from Awful Announcing.

[Wise Choices]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.