On a recent episode of The Ryback Show, AEW’s Vickie Guerrero and “The Big Guy” Ryback had a conversation about the differences between AEW and WWE. Guerrero first spoke on what it is like to work for Vince McMahon and WWE.
“Well, I think the relationship between me and Vince started with Eddie when he was alive, and so, Vince really took us on as a– he kind of felt like he was our dad because he really helped Eddie through many things that were going on in WWE. And Vince was there when Eddie passed away,” Guerrero explained. “So, Vince and I always had a great relationship as far as like a father figure because he was great. I mean, if you can meet him outside of the wrestling industry, he’s just a wonderful person to talk to.
“So, I’ve known Vince for almost 20 years. He’s been in our family for a long time, but the thing with Vince and WWE is as a superstar, you never saw Vince in the hallway to be able to– you saw him come through the hallway, but he was on a mission with 20 people around him and he was just on his way.”
She then talked about working for AEW and Tony Khan. She said that Khan is much more personable and easier to talk to, as he can be seen sitting at a table and just having casual conversation with everyone.
“The difference in AEW with Tony Khan is Tony is this fan who you can find in the hallway, sitting at a table, talking to 10 superstars,” Guerrero said. “And with AEW, after a show, Tony provides food for us after we work. So, we go back to the hotel and Tony has catered food for us, and you’ll find Tony coming into that room where you’re eating.
“And he’s just sitting there, talking like, ‘Hey! How did it go tonight?’ We’re just bullsh–ing with each other, and he just wants to know who you are. And I haven’t gotten to know Tony really a lot, because now that I’m really working, it’s busier.”
Guerrero continued talking about how Khan is everywhere on a shooting day. She spoke more on how Khan schedules get-togethers with everyone in AEW, and his joining in on the fun and the conversations everyone’s having.
“But, Tony’s everywhere in that arena,” Guerrero stated. “I mean, he’s on the stage, he’s in the ring, and when we’re on tape, he comes out and he’s telling everyone, ‘Man, you guys are great tonight! I love the cheering!’ And he is always pushing us; he cares about us. I’m not saying Vince doesn’t, but Tony’s in front of me probably 70% of the time during the day, where you can find him standing there, watching the monitor of the show, or you can find him backstage, calling the match or whatever. It’s just so different, and Tony will provide functions for us.
“If we’re there 10 days in Florida, he’ll schedule a BBQ for everyone that’s there so we have somewhere to go for the holiday, and he’s there. He’s not just scheduling something. He’s not out doing his own thing, he’s there with his girlfriend and his family. And we’re just drinking and eating, and he just wants to sit back end enjoy himself, and that’s just really cool, because he’s one of us and he’s not trying to say, ‘I’m up here. This is everyone else’.
“He’s sitting at the table, taking a shot with us. That’s pretty cool. So, that impressed me the most, because he just sits down and says, ‘Hey, how’s it going?’ He sits and he listen. It’s not he just says how are you and, ‘Oh, I got to go now’. “
“There’s a big difference. With Tony, when you have a storyline, my emails go to Kenny Omega, QT [Marshall], and Tony because Tony’s involved,” Guerrero noted. “With Vince, you had 20 writers that by the time the story got to Vince, it was something totally different than what you were trying to relay and what you want to do.
“So, I think there’s a lot of miscommunication with WWE, because– and you get a big storyline, and, ‘We’ll do this tonight’. Well, by the time you get to who you’re dealing with– and then you go through the writers to get something changed or if something doesn’t work, you ruin what the first thing was because you can’t get a hold of Vince to change something, and so that was a really frustrating element.”
Guerrero continued talking about giving her year notice that she would leave WWE. She discussed how she left it up to fate as to whether WWE would give her a storyline that she could work with, or they would just let her leave after a year.
“And when I gave them my year notice – I said I’ll leave in year because I was general manager,” Guerrero recalled, “and I wanted to give them the respect of, ‘Hey, I’m not just going to drop you and just leave the show in an instant.’ But at the same time, I told myself, ‘OK, I’ll give my year notice. If they want me, then they’re going to want to show they want me. And if they don’t, well then, it’s proven. And it was supposed to be true that I’m going to be leaving.’
“Well, they never said, ‘Hey! Why don’t you stay? We really love you.’ I just had to let God be God, and I told God, ‘If I don’t get any kind of sign that they want to work with me or they want me here, then, I’m supposed to be gone.’ I think 10 years was a good run, and so when I left, I was just like, ‘I’m good with it’, because I did my part to let them give me the chance.
“And that’s where thing change. You know in this industry people come, and go, and people change, and there’s new ideas and new goals that companies have. And I was ready to move on and do my own goals, and on my own way. So, that was exciting for me.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit The Ryback Show with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Mehdy Labriny contributed to this article.