Tony Khan says AEW has a wellness policy, provides update on Jeff Hardy

By Sean Radican, PWTorch Columnist (Twitter: @SR_Torch)

Jeff Hardy arrested for DUI
Jeff Hardy (artist Travis Beaven © PWTorch)


Radican note: During today’s media call with AEW CEO and Booker Tony Khan ahead of the Forbidden Door PPV this Sunday, I asked Khan whether or not AEW had a wellness policy or any policy in place in regards to substance abuse in relation to two recent cases where Jon Moxley checked himself into rehab for alcohol and Jeff Hardy was arrested for DUI.

The question I wanted answered was whether or not there was a wellness policy in place for wrestlers with substance abuse issues and if not were there other avenues wrestlers could pursue to get help in lieu of a wellness policy if there wasn’t one in AEW. Khan misunderstood my question and thought I was saying that Jon Moxley and Jeff Hardy’s circumstances were the same and asking whether or not AEW tests for alchoholism, which is not what I was trying to get at with my question. I do not believe Moxley and Hardy’s situations are similar in any other way other than alcohol being involved. 

I was put on mute before I could clarify, but Khan did give a lot of information about Moxley and Hardy’s respective situations and he also discussed AEW having a wellness policy. Khan was later asked by Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics to expand on AEW’s wellness policy at which point Khan went into further detail about AEW’s wellness policy.

On today’s AEW x NJPW Forbidden Door media call, PWTorch columnist Sean Radican asked AEW CEO and booker Tony Khan about whether or not AEW has a wellness policy that allows wrestlers to seek help if they need it in relation to Jon Moxley checking himself into rehab and Jeff Hardy’s DUI arrest.

“We have a wellness policy, but in the case of drinking, you have to be careful because 99% of the roster drinks responsibly and most people drink responsibly, as you see form advertisements on TV and billboards, that’s the number one thing they ask,” said Khan. “We have a wellness policy. As far as testing for alcohol after the shows, I think a lot of people drink after the show is over and I don’t have a policy about that other than we ask people to be safe and responsible. They are totally different things and it’s comparing apples and oranges when you mention the two things like they are the same. That’s why I handled them differently. We have a wellness policy in place and it covers these things, and that’s why we’re here to support somebody when they come to me and they say ‘we have a problem.’ In Jon’s case, he went straight to it, jumped on it, checked himself into rehab because he had a problem. Jon could not be more responsible in what he did and we could not have been more supportive and there for him, I love him so much, having him back and on the pay-per-view, and looking the way he does and having his family healthy and happy. With Jeff, it’s totally different. The way it went down is totally different and that’s why the statements and the way we handled the two things are different. In this case, I don’t think there is any comparison.”

Khan was about to move on to the next question, but he interrupted the mediator and went into more detail about Jeff Hardy’s current condition and confirmed that Hardy was in treatment and doing well.

“Jeff is doing much better,” said Khan. “As I understand, Jeff is in treatment. I don’t want to say too much about what is going on because it’s his business, but I’m here for him for whatever he needs. I’m really glad nobody got hurt. What Jeff did, going out and driving, is totally different from the other thing. I don’t like hearing the two compared. I’d be remise if I didn’t give Jeff a lot of credit for now doing the right thing. This is why we said Jeff has to the right thing if he wants to stay with AEW. It’s last chance. Jon didn’t put anybody at risk like that, he wasn’t out drinking and driving. The way it went down is totally different and that’s why I didn’t like hearing it compared. I will say, Jeff is in treatment and doing better. I talked to Matt about it the other day and we’ll be here and we’ll support him for what he needs. This is what he had to do. He had to go to treatment to get us to keep supporting him, and we are.”

Later in conference call, Brandon Thurston of Wrestlenomics asked Khan to discuss more details about AEW’s wellness policy. Khan confirmed that the company has a wellness policy available to everyone up and down the roster. Khan said if wrestlers need time off to deal with an issue, AEW will allow them to take time off. Khan said he would rather have talent take time off as opposed to getting in trouble. Khan also said there’s a testing policy in place in AEW.

Contact Sean at Follow him on Twitter: @SR_Torch

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