The ongoing spat between renowned combat sports journalist Ariel Helwany and AEW President Tony Khan has hit a fever pitch. It started when Tony Khan called Ariel Helwani fraud for appearing on two crowd segments during WWE SmackDown to hype up Sami Zayn’s segment. Since then, the two men have had a back-and-forth exchange.

On the latest episode of The MMA Hour, Airel Helwani addressed his recent spat with Tony Khan by saying he initially thought the tweet from Tony Khan was fake.

“I just wanted to live in the moment. But then for a second because I had like an hour (before his next live shot), I did look at the phone because I wanted to see if people were watching, I don’t know. And I look at this f*cking tweet from Tony Khan. And I swear to God, I looked at this tweet three times because I thought it was fake, because, you know, anyone could have a blue check mark. This guy doesn’t follow me. This guy has never tweeted me. There’s no way he actually tweeted this. Number one, proving that he was watching, which is bizarre, why would you do that? Why would you put the competition over and show that you’re watching some random SmackDown and in a random moment during the telecast. Number two, putting down his own guy in the process, your guy, the great Tony Schiavone, Atlanta sports legend, calling me a fraud and then saying that I’m as much of a journalist as Tony Schiavone. Now, I’m trying to think, what is the point he was trying to prove here? He is trying to say that Schiavone isn’t a journalist, which, by the way, correct me if I’m wrong, doesn’t he have a little bit of respect for being a media dude?”

Ariel Helwani continued to say that he didn’t have to insult Tony Schiavone in the process by implying he was not a real journalist. Helwani also mentioned that Khan was still upset that he gave one of the worst interviews of all-time.


“So, this guy is calling me a fraud and then he is saying that Tony Schiavone is as much of a journalist as me, I guess he’s trying to imply that he’s not real journalist and I’m not real journalist, why insult your guy in the process? You could have said that in a million different ways. I mean, the real thing he should’ve done is said nothing because number one, why are you putting over the competition’s broadcast, your show is coming up, nice little cheeky hashtag there on the tweet as well.

But, like, this sh*t, you talk about a non-goal, and I know that Fulham is having a little bit of a better season, they certainly haven’t had a great run with the Khan’s involved, but, I mean, this was one of the great non-goals. I just couldn’t believe it. I had to check a couple of times, like, was this really him? Now, to take a step back, he is still upset, clearly, over the fact that he gave me one of the all-time worst interviews and ignoring the fact that I have continuously praised the product ever since they launched around three years ago. It was just a bad interview, objectively, a bad interview.”

Helwani then went on to talk about Tony’s interview with him where he avoided a lot of the questions that were asked. He also noted how the AEW President was reluctant to appear on his show because he works for BT Sport which is a broadcast partner for WWE.

“Now, what’s amazing about that interview is, you know, everyone loves to talk about, oh, he couldn’t talk about this, he couldn’t talk about that, legal this, legal that, first of all, like, where’s the f*cking legal, right, where’s the proof, what legal are you guys talking about?

Where’s this investigation you guys keep talking about? But, I just want to let you all know, very clearly, that I had ask Tony multiple times to come on the show, I stopped asking because I was told that he wasn’t sure, I’m Nick Khan’s guy, I work for BT, which is ridiculous, that’s just a broadcaster partner, that would be like saying to somebody like Marc Raimondi that he shouldn’t interview Bellator guys because he works for ESPN and UFC is on ESPN, it’s stupid. Anyways, I just stopped asking. They reached out to me several months later and said, do you want Tony on? I said, really, cool, never said, don’t ask this, don’t ask about that, you don’t think I wasn’t going to ask him about these things? Anybody worth a salt would ask these things. There’s a million different ways to answer those questions.”

Helwani also stated that he felt invigorated by Tony Khan’s tweet.

“But just to let you know, at that time, I had no relationship with anyone, in terms of business, anything like that, this was back in early October, so to now pin those questions on me appearing on SmackDown and all of that stuff is a bullsh*t move because one has nothing to do with the other.

He’s just mad that he came off looking like a guy who didn’t know how to handle these situations and is only comfortable promoting and talking on and on about the product when it’s not really what the public wants to hear and now, he’s trying to say, look, this is why he asked me these questions when it’s just all really silly bullsh*t, man. Why do you care? Why do you really care? I said it was a bad interview. I’ve praised your product. Why are you so quick to run to your phone and tweet this in my moment? That’s when I realized, old Ariel would’ve let this tweet and a guy like this bother him, I actually was like invigorated by it. I thought it was hilarious. I was debating, like, do I tweet something back now, let me just chew on this for a while, let me get this second hit out of the way and then I’ll deal with this.”

Ariel Helwani then continued to say that he felt bad for Tony Schiavone who got insulted in the process. He also made comparisons between the AEW President and Dana White.

“But the amazing thing was how the whole thing spread backstage. Everybody was talking about it. Hey, did you see this? Did you see the tweet? I’m like, I’m the new guy, I’ve only been here for four hours, like, I barely know a lot of these people. It was amazing. Was that really him?

What a. …., yeah, I guess it was him. He doesn’t follow me. But I still kind of feel bad for Tony Schiavone because he was insulted in the process, bizarre. This f*cking guy doesn’t know what journalism is. He’s no different than Dana. What I thought about tweeting back to him was, Dana is not going to tag you mate, he was trying to curry favor with his idol, Dana White. I thought that would be too much of a deep cut for the wrestling audience, but he’s just trying to do that thing. It hasn’t worked for Dana and it ain’t going to work for Tony Khan, I could assure you of that. I wasn’t sure if maybe he couldn’t here what I was saying on SmackDown, maybe the connection was bad on his TV, it was snowing in Montreal, I’m not sure if it was snowing in Jacksonville.”

Ariel further stated that he wasn’t going to let Tony Khan’s tweet ruin his night and he decided to reply back. He also mentioned that a lot of people jumped to Tony’s defense and compared him to Dave Meltzer, which Ariel Helwani refutes those comparisons.

“I can’t stress this enough, old Ariel would’ve been down over this. I was not gonna let this f*cking guy, this guy who has built an amazing thing, all credit to him, this kid who, you know, if it wasn’t for his old man, let me tell you something, my dad gave me a lot, but as far as MMA Journalism and everything I’ve got, that was all on me, alright.

I’m very proud of what I built. I was not gonna let this f*cking guy soil my name, drag it through the mud, ruin my night, Montreal, a dream, a bucket list thing. And I know he’s trying to get himself over on me because lord knows he needs it. I wasn’t gonna let that happen, absolutely not. Then I’m in the car and I didn’t think I was going to reply back, to be honest, but then I was like, f*ck it, Heelwani, 10-7, all day, every day, I’m just not going to let this slide. You’re not gonna call me a fraud and get away with it. And, honestly, I felt bad for Tony Schiavone, I felt like I needed to stand up for my guy, I mean, come on, what a legend. I feel like Tony Schiavone and me doing broadcasting together, I mean, I feel like that would put butts on seats, people would enjoy that, that’s a deep cut from the old WCW days. And then all of the freakazoids comes out, you know, to Tony’s defense, telling me about my career, my life, about journalism, about this and that.

Let me explain to you because, poor Dave Meltzer, I see continuing to get compared to me, I am not Dave Meltzer, I’ve never claimed to be Dave Meltzer, I don’t cover pro wrestling for a living, I don’t have a wrestling show, I don’t have a wrestling site, I don’t have a wrestling newsletter, why do you guys keep comparing me to this guy? Because I may be that guy in MMA? I never been that guy in this sport. When I sign with BT Sport, the sole thing I was hired to do, mainly, was UFC. The problem was, someone at the UFC, you know who, wasn’t happy about it, threw a fit, went crazy, did all of this stuff, and they were like, alright, well, I guess we could use him in WWE.”

Ariel Helwani concluded by saying that he has praised Tony and his product multiple times but Tony is upset over their interview. He finished by thanking Tony Khan for the tweet.

“This is not a work. Tony wants to shoot, he’s looking for a foil, he’s trying to pick a fight with the biggest name in combat sports and wrestling media, he has tried to pick a fight with me. So, I’ll say this to Tony, I’m sorry about your Jaguars, they shat the bed against the Chiefs. I’m sorry that Fulham is a mid-tier club. I’m sorry that it seems like a lot of people say things about you. I wasn’t one of those guys, in fact, I have praised you and your product multiple times.

I went to Dynamite in Queens, I don’t know what you’re so upset about. You’re upset because I asked you a few questions and you didn’t answer them correctly, I don’t know. Like I’ve said, time and again, if you come at the king, you best not miss, and once again, he missed just like all of them. And let me tell you all something, I’ve had to deal with the likes of Dana White, I mean, if you think I’m afraid of, you know, big bad Tony K, I’m not.

I never met the guy. I don’t know what his thing is, I think he’s trying to be tough like Dana White and all of this stuff, but thank you for the tweet, man. Honestly, thank you, it was great. I think it helped me out. And thank you to everyone who’s been tweeting me up a storm about me and all upset, ruining your weekend, I loved every minute of it, it was fantastic.”

It looks like this war of words between Tony Khan and Ariel Helwani is not going to end soon. We will have to wait and see how Tony responds. Stay tuned to Ringside News as we keep you updated on this story.

What’s your take on this story? Sound off in the comments section.

Tags: Tony Khan
Sunil Joseph

Passionate pro wrestling fan. Sunil has been writing WWE content writing for over the last five years. Sunil still gets excited when he gets to tell people that he gets paid to watch pro wrestling.

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