Is William Regal Leaving AEW?

William Regal's status with AEW was suddenly called into question on last week's AEW Dynamite. The show opened with Regal declining to explain his actions following the Full Gear pay-per-view, only announcing that MJF would appear on this week's Dynamite for his first appearance as the new AEW World Champion. Jon Moxley then came out to confront Regal, but Bryan Danielson talked him out of violently attacking his mentor. Moxley obliged, telling Regal, "I want you to run. Run far away, as far away as you can. And you never, ever come back."

This led to fans wondering aloud if Regal would be leaving the promotion less than a year before arriving. Regal famously played a large role both on-screen and behind-the-scenes in helping Triple H establish NXT as a successful brand for WWE, only for the former King of the Ring to be released back in January. By the time Vince McMahon departed from WWE and Triple H took over, Regal had already been on AEW for months. 

Per Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer, Regal is currently on a three-year deal with AEW. So unless he has been granted a release from his contract, a rarity in AEW, he's not actually going anywhere. 

Regal discussed the changes NXT underwent in 2021 while speaking on The Sessions earlier this year. He explained, "Last summer, when we wanted to revamp, I'm like, 'Great.' When I heard what Mr. McMahon wanted, I was all for that, but when it comes to athletes. The PC is, at the end of the day, people have all these nonsense ideas about what it is. It's the biggest wrestling school in the world and it is an incredible wrestling school. The PC works if you put your time in. If you come in there, turn up and do your class once a day and you go home, it's not going to work unless you are the one, the magic one, that can do everything. You have to put your time in. I know this personally, sometimes the talent that are getting paid, that aren't doing well, perhaps they need to look themselves in the mirror and realize, instead of spending time on their phone, perhaps they should be in the ring trying to get better. From last November, I was in meetings where it was myself, Hideki Suzuki, Tim Thatcher, and Danny Burch in an open ring, which means anybody can come and get in our ring. We were training with each other. I watched this several times, two classes do their class, not really paying attention to the people in the ring or the trainer telling them anything, get in the ring, do their five minutes, get out, walk straight to their phones, pick it up, and walk out the building. Not one person comes to our ring. It's our fault that you're not going home and practicing your promos and your own time. You just do it when it's promo day. That's not going to get you anywhere unless you are the one. Robbie Brookside, they go to his class, you cannot get much more experience because he's so good at that and he's so good at being the opening coach. They go to his class, 'Oh, it's just basics,' he teaches them, they can't wait to leave and they never go back. I ask people, 'Do you ever go back to Robbie's class and actually learn or keep doing?' 'I don't need that.' 'Yes, you do.' I can have a match with just a headlock and wristlock. I don't need any more than that. I'll make it last for an hour if I need to, because I know enough stuff to make it look good and put emotions between," Regal said (h/t Fightful).

"Johnny Gargano told me something before I left, 'You can make wrestlers, but you can't make them love it.' At the end of the day, it's the biggest wrestling school in the world. People are going to come and go or people have their run," he continued. "...There were all these things happening and I was all for that fact, 'Okay, if the boss doesn't want independent fellas, now we have to get massive numbers,' because you're only going to get one out of every 50 or 100 that actually really wants to put the time in and love this and work and be there all day long, every day, trying to hone their craft. A lot of people talk a good game, but they don't actually put the time in. There were a lot of things that I thought need a kick up the backside because people are not paying attention and nobody had to tell me to go up to better wrestlers when I was younger and try to pick their brains. nobody had to tell me to work on everything that I could work on, that's where I got to. I was all for the change, but I also get that if you're trying to make a complete change, you might not think that...I don't think anybody knew, but I was very open to the fact that I wanted to be a big part of that, and I was because I was very hands-on with the Creed Brothers and Bron Breakker. I had an incredible run on the main roster and I had the absolute greatest run possible in NXT. If nothing else, the time came when it was time to go now, so it didn't become something I didn't like and move on. That's the way I look at it."