All Elite Wrestling President Tony Khan took part in the post-AEW WrestleDream press conference and discussed several topics, including holding contract negotiations with former AEW TBS Champion Jade Cargill prior to Cargill departing the company and making the decision to sign with the WWE.

“I knew Jade’s contract had been ticking down, and we were talking about a new contract and I was very interested in Jade coming back, and we were having a negotiation, I made a very big offer and I thought it was a very fair offer, I think she was considering it, and then she asked for a bigger offer, and then I went up again and I kind of thought that was going to do it, it didn’t which I was surprised, because to be honest, I came up to a number that was higher than her original ask, I don’t know what I would have had to do at that point.

I was a little surprised, I did really hope that Jade would be back, I think I tried to handle it, when we were down to the nitty gritty and we were down to the final couple of weeks and we still hadn’t agreed to something, then it was at the point where I said, if you aren’t going to stay, I’m going to give you the best possible exit. I have only good things to say about Jade, I really enjoyed working with her, she was a great part of AEW, she is always welcome here, I tried to give her the best possible send off I could.

The classiest send-off I’ve ever seen in wrestling was, at the time, was when Ric Flair left the WWF, he did a match with Mr. Perfect, who was a natural person for him to wrestle and that was it, he was gone, they didn’t do anything to embarrass him or mess him up, they let him leave and he was still Ric Flair, he wrestled the match against the person he should have, finished up and left with, not only his dignity, and probably a better position than he came in. That’s what I tried to do, I wanted to give her the best possible send-off.

The natural thing was, there was no rematch against Kris Statlander, so I had her do a run-in, knowing it would set up the match where she would likely finish up, unless we came to an agreement at the last minute, which I was really still hoping would happen, down to the last minute. I only have positive things to say, I thought I had a good plan where, if this is it, that’s where we’ll finish up. When she did the segment where she returned, and did the run-in, Tony Schiavone came to the monitor at my desk and said, you’re a classy guy boss. I think he meant it, it was a classy way to send her off, I try to make this a great home for wrestlers, and I want people to see whether you’re coming in or out, we’re going to treat you well and I respect and value Jade, so I wanted to give her a big send-off. I wish her the best and she would always be welcome back if she wanted to come back.”

The full press conference is available at this link.