During a recent appearance on the “Oral Sessions with Renee Paquette” podcast, Paul Wight commented on his creative frustrations with WWE, why he walked away, and more. You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:
On his creative frustrations in WWE: “For me, creatively, it was just frustration. I had gone back and forth with Paul Heyman, Bruce Prichard, and Vince. I had some medical issues a couple of years ago where I had problems with my hip real bad. You know how things are there. If you get out of the loop a little, it’s real hard for them to work you back into the ring, no matter how much talent you have, no matter how much you have to offer. It was just frustrating for me because, yeah, I was making money and I worked once against Drew and did a couple of things like be partners with Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe. I was like, ‘I need more than this.’ I’ve never been a sit on the bench guy. I’m not going to take my money to sit home and be happy like a little princess. I like to work for my money. I like to earn it. I think went 18 years in WWE without missing a European tour…..I love doing what I’m doing.
“That was the biggest letdown for me was not being able to get something going creatively. I’ve known Vince for a long time and when he gets focused and gets blinders on, it’s real hard to be the squeaky wheel that gets the grease. If you’re not at TV and nobody is saying, ‘Paul Wight is still alive. He can work.’ It just got frustrating, and I got frustrated trying to knock on the door. They were trying to use me for other things. They were trying to do me a favor and put me in Shady Pines. I didn’t want to be in Shady Pines. I told them, ‘Don’t put me in Shady Pines.’ I had the opportunity to do something else and I took it. Here’s the thing: I talked to Vince, and I talked to Kevin Dunn. Nobody is mad, nobody is upset. The day I signed, Vince called me and wished me luck and said I’m a big asset for AEW. They did a lot of things for me. For me to try and bury WWE, it’s not about that. It’s just business.”
On his meeting with WWE several years ago that motivated him to make a comeback: “I got the speech five years ago that was a pretty bad speech. I got pulled into a talent relations office and got told that I will never main event WrestleMania again, I will never main event a pay-per-view again, and I will only be used to get over NXT talent. That was said to my face. There’s your inspiration, now go work hurt. Vince didn’t say that to me, it wasn’t him, but nothing gets said to you without…you know where it comes from. It hurt a little bit, but I was like really? That’s where we’re at…..I understand where they’re coming from on that. They were trying to give me a heads up like, ‘You’ve done everything we can do with you, you’ve had a great career, maybe it’s time to start thinking about slowing down.’ Fuck that. I want to go to Vince and say, ‘Are you going to slow down? Well, then don’t ask me to slow down.’ Everything happens for a reason. If I hadn’t gone through everything I went through, I wouldn’t have had the availability and determination and courage to walk away when this contract expired.”
(h/t – 411 Wrestling)