WWE had interest in a lot of people when AEW was getting their roster together. Tony Schiavone was in talks with WWE for a brief period of time prior to agreeing to sign with AEW.
During the AEW Unrestricted podcast, Tony Schiavone revealed details about his talks with WWE. He was in contact with WWE and AEW, and he had to make a choice between the two companies. Schiavone was also careful not to let WWE know he was talking to AEW.
“During this time, WWE kept talking to me, and I never told WWE that Tony Khan had an interest in me. I was just listening to what they had to say. So, they would call me, and they would say, ‘We don’t have our ducks in a row yet; we’ll be back in touch with you.'”
WWE was willing to drop a healthy paycheck for Tony Schiavone’s services. Bruce Prichard called and told him that Vince McMahon was interested in signing him, and they asked Schiavone how much he would need.
“Bruce called and said that Vince is very much interested; he wants you to come here and end your career. I said, okay, ‘then make me an offer.’ So, they had an HR person call me, and they say, ‘How much do you need?’ I hyped through the ball way up in the air on that one. And they said, ‘Okay, we’ll be back in touch with you.'”
Once Tony Schiavone met with Tony Khan, he knew that AEW was the better fit for him.
“Meanwhile, I go down to talk to Tony Khan, and I met with Tony, it was an all-day meeting at the stadium, and I knew immediately I wanted to work there.”
Tony Schiavone’s wife Lois also told him that she would divorce him if he went back to WWE. That likely played a big part in Tony Schiavone’s decision to turn down WWE’s offer.