All-Elite Wrestling and its roster’s attitude toward coaching has been a a hotly debated subject since the All Out “Press Conference From Hell,” when CM Punk vented frustrations – among a number of subjects – at Hangman Adam Page for not being open to coaching from the former AEW, WWE and ROH champ.
The latest controversy was from Ethan Page III, who said William Regal was frustrated with talent not taking up offers to coach them prior to AEW shows and said management had maturity issues.
Several AEW sources said the story wasn’t true and blasted Page for floating it. One source with the company described it as, “completely inaccurate.” One source noted Page and James being frustrated themselves at not landing jobs in AEW and neither them or Russo have ever been with the company.
“There was no formal coaching session, where it was something that was scheduled or anything like that. Usually he would go down to the ring to help someone, and word would spread, like, “Hey, Regal is down in the ring.” The source said Dustin Rhodes trains younger women’s wrestlers on the roster. He also said Danielson has worked with people regularly and sessions included talent that appeared regularly on Dynamite or Rampage.
“I can’t believe this is a story,” another source said. “It’s complete bullshit. There was never some schedule you had to be down at the ring and people blew it off, and (Regal) was never going to flat tell someone they had to come to the ring so he could coach them. Regal would work with someone, people would go down and show up, a lot of people took advantage of it. Other vets do it all the time. It’s always the younger women and men. Sometimes someone would work with someone one on one, other times there could be quite a few people down. It was totally informal.”
“Regal would even sit in the stands with guys to talk about the fans point of view, or the point of view of watching on TV,” another source said. “He would tell you about making sure to know how you are looking to fans as you come to the ring or how you would look on TV. He said to make sure you’re always really nice to the camera guys, they’re the ones who make you look good (laughing).”
Regal was the on-screen manager of the Blackpool Combat Club since debuting with AEW in March. Several wrestling news sites have reported Regal will be leaving AEW for a return to WWE and would begin work there in 2023. Regal was released by WWE nearly a year ago.
Since then, his friend Paul Levesque has been named head of creative after Vince McMahon was investigated for multiple sex scandals and subsequent payoffs within the company. His son, Charlie Dempsey – who had wrestled as Bailey Matthews was brought to NXT from NXT UK in August. Dempsey scored his first win in the company early last month. Regal’s contract status is unknown, but it’s been speculated he will exercise an out clause. Regal’s relationship with Levesque goes back to the early 1990s in WCW, when Regal mentored him when the two were tag team partners. The two have been close friends for 20 years. Levesque was instrumental in bringing Regal to WWE in the early 2000s and making him a mainstay in WWE’s developmental system after he retired from wrestling.