After obtaining his WWE release, Brian Kendrick was set to make his AEW debut on the February 2 episode against Jon Moxley.
After his debut was announced, old clips and comments surfaced of Kendrick giving conspiracy theories related to the Holocaust. With the clips resurfacing, Tony Khan pulled Kendrick from the match.
Kendrick issued an apology at the time, saying, "I spread the most vile comments without thinking of the damage it would cause. I will live with this regret for the rest of my life. I am truly sorry for the pain I have caused. I apologize for all the hurt and embarrassment I have caused with my words. These are not my beliefs and never were beliefs of mine, and I crossed the line."
Speaking on Duke Loves Rasslin, Kendrick offered further comments on what he said about the Holocaust.
"Back then, I was trying to create some sort of buzz and I didn't care who I offended. When it gets thrown back in your face, one, it's embarrassing, two, you're forced to reflect on it. I'm sorry. I'm sorry for being so cold-hearted and trying to profit off of tragedy. I suppose that's what it was. I was trying to gain off of other's tragedies but making conspiracies and creating a buzz for myself to gain bookings. It was a terrible idea. Even if it hadn't affected anybody, it's horribly embarrassing. I am sorry for anybody...to people I hurt, for making light of stuff that happened to them or their family. I hope you accept that," he said.
When asked about the steps he's taken to show remorse for his actions, Kendrick said, "A friend of mine recommended Survivor Mitzvah. I recommend that too. Seems to be an honest charity where the money goes directly to. My actions, as far as hoping to be kinder, if it's a question of understanding the tragedies of the past, the truth is, I understood all that long ago, prior to these statements. Years ago, as part of WWE, Beth Phoenix and I went to Dachau. As a teenager, I went to the holocaust museum with my grandfather. I know these things. It hasn't dawned on me that these tragedies might have happened, it's stuff I knew. What I was doing was, trying to profit off of that and trying to become a villain who would make light of such tragedy. It's a disgusting thing to do and I did it."
Kendrick was then asked about the things he has lost since the comments resurfaced and he was pulled from AEW.
"I did lose my job. I fought hard for a few months to get my release from the WWE in hopes to go wrestle, that's what I want to do. I wanted to wrestle. I managed to get my release and get an opportunity with AEW. I had a contract and they didn't that, at this time, it was not the right time to keep me employed. Things need to get figured out. I understand. It's the way it is. Luckily, I haven't lost many friends. I've had a lot of friends reach out. Some friends reaching out really made me cry and touched me. I understand the humor in it too. 'Cry me a river, this guy loses his job, the guy who goofed on the holocaust.' I understand the cosmic humor in all of it. Jokes on me," he said. "These weren't videos that were under a hot mic. I knew what I was saying and what I was trying to do was trying to offend. The truth is, at a certain point, you have to start taking life seriously and pissing people off and offending them are two different things. It's one thing to piss them off. It's another thing to offend them. I don't want to offend anybody, but ten years ago, I didn't give a shit."
Kendrick was then asked what advice he would give to anyone in a similar position and what he's learned from everything.
"This has been a big lesson in hubris and humility. Anybody who goes through this same experience, saying some horrible things, having to come back at the right time to affect you, I think they'll figure out that the little bits of kindness that you receive become so special and you really start to lose any judgment towards other people. If somebody were to say something, you know not to take them seriously, their actions, you can look at them. once you've made these kinds of mistakes and are forced to dwell on them, you can forgive people pre-emptively. Any advice I would give is, try to do that without having to go through this," he said.
Asked if he would take a chance on himself and give himself a job after his comments, Kendrick said, "I understand why somebody wouldn't be the first. That's going to be an issue. 'Who is going to be the first one to do it? Who is going to be the one to risk the backlash?' Me, personally, I'd be more inclined to. We've had incidents in the past with people on my roster and I would have no problem with using this guy, but that's me and people have to decide what's best for them."
Asked if he deserves another shot, Kendrick said, "That's for the individual to decide. I would say that, I don't want to be in a place of judgment. I don't want to be the one who decides if I have a shot or not because it's not for me to decide. I recognize I have my own flaws."
Before obtaining his release from the company, Kendrick worked as a coach at the WWE Performance Center and was set to return to the ring on NXT.
He hasn't wrestled since 2020.
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