Paul Wight Explains The Creative Frustrations That Led To His WWE Departure, Says It Was A Very Quick Decision
Image Credit: AEW
Paul Wight says no one saw his AEW debut coming, not even him.
Wight was the latest guest on Oral Sessions with Renee Paquette and talked about the passage of events that led to him leaving WWE and joining All Elite Wrestling. Joking that he’s “had more turns than NASCAR”, Wight said no one saw him leaving WWE but explained what finally led him to leaving the company he’d spent 20-plus years with.
“[People were like] ‘yeah, we saw that coming…’ I didn’t see it coming. This was a very quick decision that was made in a matter of 48 hours for me. For me, I think it was just creatively, frustration. I had gone back and forth with Paul Heyman, Bruce Prichard, and Vince [McMahon]. I had some medical issues a couple of years ago where I had problems with a hip real bad, and you know how things are there, where if you get out of the loop a little,” Wight explained, “it’s real hard for them to work you back into the loop, no matter how much talent you have, no matter how much you have to offer. It was frustrating for me because, yeah, I was making money and working once against Drew [McIntyre] after WrestleMania there and did a couple of things, like I came in to be partners with Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe, but then that went out and it’s like, ‘I need more than this.’
“I’ve never been—ever—a ‘sit on the bench’ guy, you know? I’m not going to take my money, sit at home, and be happy like a little princess,” Wight said, “that’s not my deal. I like to work for my money and earn it and I like performing. I went 18 years in WWE without missing a single Europe tour, spring or fall… I had two choices; I could go to work or I could not, and I love doing what I’m doing. That was the biggest thing that was a letdown for me, was not being able to get something going creatively. And I’ve known Vince for a long time and when he gets focused and gets blinders on, and doing what he’s doing it’s hard to be the squeaky wheel that gets the grease. If you’re not at TV and sitting there, nobody’s saying, ‘Hey, you know Paul Wight is still signed, he’s cleared and he can work.’ It got frustrating to the point of—I got frustrated trying to knock on the door.
“They were trying to use me for other things like [public] relations, which is stuff I like to do anyway,” Wight said, “but they were trying to do me a favor and put me in ‘Shady Pines’. I’m like, ‘Don’t put me in ‘Shady Pines’’ and I had another opportunity to do something else and I took it.”
Wight explained that no one was mad or upset, echoing his comments from the AEW Revolution post-show when he said there’s no dirt and Vince was happy for him. Wight said he’s not trying to turn around and bury WWE because that’s not who he is, and it’s just business.
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