Frankie Kazarian Elaborates On His Reasons For Leaving AEW

As one of the original members of AEW, Frankie Kazarian achieved varying degrees of success during his tenure with the company, capturing the tag titles with his SCU teammate Scorpio Sky and becoming involved in some high-quality matches over the years. However, towards the end of 2022, he opted to walk away from the promotion and return to IMPACT Wresting — the same place he made a name for himself in the 2000s and 2010s.

On the latest episode of "Talk Is Jericho," the 46-year-old explained the reasoning behind his decision and reiterated there was no ill will towards AEW.

"I had some great moments... but the matches for me had less and less meaning to them [over time]," Kazarian said. "All I wanted was the opportunity to have meaningful matches... it was just matches for the sake of matches. I'm realistic, I know I have more years behind me than I do in front of me, and with the time I have in front of me, I want to maximize that and give my best version. I don't feel like I was given the opportunity to display that."

Kazarian claimed his desire was never to become a world champion, but instead have a spot on the card each week on "Dynamite" that allowed him to showcase his ability. After signing a three-year extension, Kazarian realized the writing was on the wall and asked for a release, leading to his departure and official return to IMPACT.

Frankie Kazarian opens up on Tony Khan relationship

As one of the early members of AEW, Frankie Kazarian had the opportunity to build a strong relationship with CEO Tony Khan, as well as chief legal officer Megha Parekh. However, as the success of the company continued to grow and more big names entered the fray, Kazarian spent less time with Khan and admitted their contact became minimal by the time he moved on.

"Early on, TK would call me and ask for ideas ... as he got busier and busier, for me at least, he became more difficult to contact," he said. "He was not an easy guy to talk to in terms of getting a hold of him, so I always dealt with Megha. They called me at the end of 2022 as a courtesy to say they were gonna roll me over ... I basically said I would like to not be rolled over and to please let me out of my contract. He understood, he said he respects me as a man, and respects me as a wrestler, and he wished this wasn't the case, but he wanted to right by me."

Since returning home to IMPACT — which will become TNA once again in 2024 — Kazarian has been presented as a prominent upper mid-carder, capturing the X-Division Championship and challenging for the promotion's world title against Josh Alexander last year.

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit "Talk Is Jericho" with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.