All Elite Wrestling Fires Kevin Kelly Allegedly For Supporting ‘Sound Of Freedom’ Film

Kevin Kelly reaches Climax
Kevin Kelly Pre NJPW G1 Climax 2019 Interview via Mr Wright, YouTube

Long-time pro wrestling commentator and interviewer Kevin Kelly is looking for employment after being fired from AEW (All Elite Wrestling), but the reason for his firing is raising eyebrows.

Screenshot-Kevin Kelly on The Rock
Did Kevin Kelly like working with The Rock? via Wrestling The And Now on YouTube

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Kevin Kelly has a long history in the pro wrestling industry with promotions such as WWE, ROH, and NJPW since the 90s. Kelly had been working with AEW over the last year, but his recent removal from AEW’s roster page sparked rumors that he departed the company.

According to a report by PWTorch, Kelly had been fired by AEW following a public rant stemming from internal politics over his support of a popular film Hollywood scorned and ignored. In a response, Kelly attributed his absence from commentary to ”libelous remarks” made by fellow AEW and ROH commentator Ian Riccaboni.

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“But the idea of what I bring to the table is lost there because Ian libeled me. So I sit on the bench, valued by my peers, waiting to get my number called.“ Kelly said.

According to his own X account, Kelly believes Riccaboni mischaracterized his efforts to raise awareness about child trafficking as a fringe conspiracy theory when Kelly backed the promotion of the 2023 film Sound of Freedom.

Sound of Freedom
Jim Caviezel as Tim Ballard in Sound of Freedom (2023), Angel Studios

The film by Angel Studios about the dark world of child sex trafficking that happens across North and South America. Many members of the media and those who identify with the political left smeared the film as a ”QAnon conspiracy theory.”

Outlets such as Georgia Public Broadcasting allege the Jim Caviezel movie is promoting the idea that the richest and most powerful members of society engage in sex trafficking and sexual abuse of children. The media also sought to damage the credibility of Tim Ballard, the man the film was inspired by, and his efforts to expose this crisis around the world.

Many members of American media did not take kindly to Operation Underground Railroad, even going as far as to claim that the organization was affecting ‘legitimate sex workers’ as a result of their efforts.

Eduardo Verástegui as Pablo in Sound of Freedom (2023), Angel Studios

Kelly refuted the characterization of being Qanon, labeling it as libel. “When you go out of your way to intentionally mischaracterize my raising awareness of the global horrors of child trafficking to a fringe conspiracy theory that everyone knows is bull- in order to hurt my career and standing in the industry, that at the very least is libelous,” he tweeted.

It was recently uncovered that Riccaboni made some public comments condemning Kelly’s support of Sound of Freedom in a Discord server which led to heat between the two commentators and between Kelly and the company.

Riccaboni reportedly linked Kelly to the Pizzagate conspiracy theory for publicly supporting the film in response to another Discord user.

“There’s that and then there’s directly supporting something that is half a step away from claiming there is children in the basement of a pizza shop, a claim that has led to attempted and actual violence and that has consumed the mental health of many,” Riccaboni wrote.

Ian Riccaboni Discord
Ian Riccaboni on Discord

He then doubled down by stating Kelly’s support of Sound of Freedom was a line too far for him. “Also had no idea he was going to promote a QAnon movie or else I might have had a different suggestion. I suppose that his name is always in the mix but that QAnon stuff kind of breaks my heart a bit,” Riccaboni claimed.

Ian Riccaboni does not deny or denounce the Discord comments attributed to him but wishes things were done in a ”different manner.”

Ian Riccaboni on Discord
Ian Riccaboni on Discord

All Elite Wrestling is no stranger to taking a stand in the name of left-wing progressive ideology. The organization has prided itself on diversity and inclusion in its programming and was one of the first pro wrestling companies to feature a transgender woman, Nyla Rose, as their Women’s champion.

Wrestlers have also used their shows as a platform to protest against conservative values and politicians. AEW star Adam Page protested the state of Florida’s Parental Rights in Education bill – which banned the teaching of sexuality and transgenderism to children between kindergarten through third grade – by wearing a rainbow-colored vest during a match in Orlando.

Former AEW star currently with WWE CM Punk is well-known for his support of abortion and putting his views on display on live TV with his attire, as he did in Texas in 2022 in the wake of the state’s Heartbeat Act.

Punk also has shown he has no problem clapping back at people who don’t share his worldview and reach out to him with their disgust.

CM Punk on Instagram
CM Punk (@cmpunk) on Instagram

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Many members of AEW’s roster protested similar events such as the repeal of Roe v Wade by voicing their anger online in the name of protecting the “right” to abortions. Nonbinary ROH title contender Abadon posted, “Human rights, America doesn’t like those. Absolutely disgusting.”

Former AEW Women’s Champion Thunder Rosa: “I had been thinking about [the] #RoeVsWade decision. We must continue to fight for our rights and the betterment of this country. We can [be] better than this…”

AEW’s Danhausen chimed in by simply posting a dual picture of Punk wearing his pro-abortion T-shirts on Dynamite.

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