Tony Schiavone stated that 2016 was a tough time financially for the Schiavone household, which forced him to take up a Starbucks job. However, Schiavone enjoyed working in Starbucks, and things finally started looking up for him in 2019.
Bruce Prichard told Tony Schiavone in January 2019 that he was going to return to WWE and that he would try to get the former WCW announcer back as well. Prichard asked Schiavone to stay in the loop while he worked things out with Vince McMahon.
"Bruce told me at the beginning of 2019. He said, 'I'm going to go back and work for Vince', and this was January 2019, and he said, 'if you give me like a few months, I will contact you because I think you can come and work here.'"
Vince wants you to come back and work for us: Tony Schiavone on what Bruce Prichard told him about a WWE return
Prichard did inform Schiavone later that Vince McMahon wanted him to work for the WWE again. However, WWE was unsure about a role for Schiavone, but they knew he liked to work backstage as a producer.
"He did contact me on a Sunday in the summertime of that year, and he said, 'Vince wants you to come back and work for us.' And I said, 'Great, what are we talking about?' He said, 'We still don't know yet, but we know we'd like for you to be a producer because we know you like to produce and you like to work behind the scenes. We'll be back in touch. I said, 'got it.' You get an offer like that, and you're thinking, 'Man, things may be on the way up.'"
Schiavone called up Conrad Thompson and informed him about the WWE offer. Two minutes after the call, Schiavone got a text message from Cody. The American Nightmare told Schiavone that he didn't want the announcer to join WWE. Cody fixed up a call between Tony Khan and Schiavone, and they ended up talking for an hour.
"So, do I call my wife, no! I call Conrad (Thompson). I said, 'I just got offered a job from the WWE, and he said, 'That's great.' I hung up the phone. Two minutes later, I got a text from Cody. Cody said, I don't want you to work for the WWE, and I said, 'Okay, good.' That's all I said. And then he said will you accept a call from Tony Khan. I said, sure. Tony called me. We talked for an hour, over an hour."
Schiavone knew that he wanted to work in AEW after the phone call, but he chose to keep his options open. Tony continued to have talks with WWE, but his wife wasn't in favor of moving back to Vince McMahon's promotion.
Tony Schiavone revealed that his wife threatened to divorce him if he returned to WWE, where he worked for a year in 1989. Schiavone admitted that his wife has bad feelings about WWE.
"I knew immediately I wanted to work there (AEW). And I also had a wife of mine, we've been married now for 39 years, and she told me 'You take a job back with WWE, I'm going to divorce your a**.'"
After talking to both parties in an extremely professional manner, an HR executive from WWE informed Tony Schiavone that they were not interested in getting him on board. Schiavone didn't hesitate one bit and went on to accept Tony Khan's phenomenal offer. Everything has worked out perfectly for Tony Schiavone as he is an integral part of the AEW project.