Ariel Helwani has responded to Tony Khan questioning the legitimacy of him as a reporter.
On February 17, Helwani appeared on WWE SmackDown in his hometown of Montreal, Quebec, Canada, to promote Sami Zayn’s match at the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view. Khan, the founder of All Elite Wrestling, saw this as an example of biased professional wrestling coverage and had this to say on Twitter:
“You’re a fraud @arielhelwani. You’re as legitimate of a reporter as @tonyschiavone24. #AEWRampage”
You're a fraud @arielhelwani. You're as legitimate of a reporter as @tonyschiavone24. #AEWRampage
— Tony Khan (@TonyKhan) February 18, 2023
Helwani and Khan’s relationship went south in 2022. The MMA journalist labeled his interview with the AEW founder as one of the worst of all time, ridiculing him for not answering hard questions. Helwani was asking about the ongoing fallout between CM Punk and AEW, including a physical altercation backstage, but Khan denied the discussion multiple times.
On the latest episode of The MMA Hour, Helwani responded to Khan’s Twitter comment by saying:
“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. It was a bad interview, objectively, a bad interview. What is amazing about that interview is, everyone loves to talk about, ‘he couldn’t talk about this, legal this,’ where is the legal? Where is the proof?…”
Helwani continued by saying:
“They reached out to me several months later and said, ‘do you want to have Tony on?’ Never said, ‘Don’t ask about this, don’t ask about that.’ You don’t think I’m not going to ask about these things?… There is a million different ways you could have answered those questions. At the time, I had no relationship with anyone in terms of business…”
It should be noted that Helwani works for BT Sport, which has a TV partnership with WWE. Nonetheless, the MMA journalist doesn’t work directly for the WWE and has openly shown support for AEW at times.
Watch Ariel Helwani discuss Tony Khan on The MMA Hour below:
Ariel Helwani believes Tony Khan is accusing him of being biased toward WWE
As stated above by Ariel Helwani, he didn’t appear on a WWE broadcast until after interviewing Tony Khan. Helwani is under the impression that Khan thinks he was asked certain questions to make him look bad because of the MMA journalist’s relationship with the AEW. During the same episode of The MMA Hour, Helwani had this to say:
“This [the interview with Tony Khan] was early October. To now, pin those questions on me appearing on SmackDown, is a bulls**t move, because one has nothing to do with the other. He’s just mad that he came off looking like a guy that didn’t know how to handle these situations and is only comfortable promoting and talking on about a product, but that’s not what the public wants to hear. Now, he wants to say, ‘Ah ha, look, this is why he asked me these questions.’ It’s all silly bulls**t….”
Helwani ended his social media argument with Khan by saying he can’t wait for their next chat. Unless the AEW founder wants to capitalize on potentially drawing hundreds of thousands of views, there will likely never be another interview between the unexpected rivals.
Quotes provided by Yahoo Entertainment.
Thanks for watching, old friend! Can’t wait for our next chat.
(Also, don’t listen to the snowman, Schiavone. You’re a legend in my books.)
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) February 18, 2023