Looking back at 2017, the WWE has seen several exits from the company, both good and bad. A common theme following a dismissal is a certain released wrestler speaking their truth. As per usual, the statements made by former WWE stars are not only quite controversial, but very revealing as to what goes on behind the scenes. In this article, we’ve got a plethora of stories pertaining to released wrestlers speaking their truth, without a doubt, Vince wouldn’t be too thrilled reading such deep confessions.
From various shoot interviews with the American Nightmare Cody Rhodes, to a recent revealing one-on-one between Chris Jericho and Austin Aries – this article has got the juicy details from the behind the scenes that go on away from the cameras. We’ll also include shocking revelations from the likes of Alberto Del Rio, Juice Robinson, Rey Mysterio and even, Miss All Red Everything, Eva Marie.
Enjoy the article folks and like always, be sure to send it along with a friend. These are 15 shocking confessions made by recently released WWE stars. We begin with the most recent confession made by former WWE star Austin Aries during his interview on the Talk Is Jericho podcast.
15 Austin Aries – “I Didn’t Quit – I Was Released”
We start the article off with the most recent confession which was quite shocking as Austin Aries finally spoke out pertaining to the details of his release. Aries was dismissed by the company back in early July and after a 90 day no-compete clause, Aries finally joined the Talk Is Jericho podcast to discuss some revealing details that most fans were not aware of.
In the confession, Aries admitted that he did not quit or walk out of the company as the dirt sheets suggested, he was instead released. According to Aries, the company had nothing for him creatively and simply decided to cut ties. There might be more to the story however, as the rumors indicate that backstage personnel, along with the writing team, weren’t the happiest in dealing with Aries.
14 Cody Rhodes – “WWE Wrestlers Ask Me About My Pay”
According to Cody, he’s now making more money than ever before which is truly shocking given the fact that the WWE is typically seen as the place to be in order for a wrestler to make some serious cash. Cody credits two things in particular for his financial success; one, the term 'independent contractor' actually applies when you’re out of the WWE, giving you the flexibility to take on various gigs. Secondly, Rhodes gives huge credit to the Young Bucks who he calls “Business Geniuses”. The tag team signed a lucrative deal with Hot Topic and are now on route to becoming the first ever seven-figure indie act with New Japan. Now that’s impressive!
Along with the revealing information, Cody also made quite the statement claiming his former peers from WWE contact him frequently for advice on the indie life and if it is profitable. With all of Cody’s success, we might see more wrestlers follow in his footsteps.
13 Chris Jericho – “A Match With Omega In WWE Wouldn’t Have Been Special”
Oh, Chris Jericho; well into his 40s, the veteran is still making headlines in the world of professional wrestling. Just recently, the IWC (Internet Wrestling Community) absolutely lost it at the announcement of Jericho and Omega going one-on-one at the New Japan Wrestle Kingdom event. What made the announcement so noteworthy was the fact that everyone thought Jericho was under contract with the WWE, however that was not the case as the veteran was a free agent.
Explaining his decision to undergo such a match, Jericho admitted his main motive had to do with the uniqueness of such an encounter. Chris also admitted that such a match wouldn’t be as special under the WWE banner, which is quite the statement. Don’t expect Y2J to be gone for too long, as he only signed a one-match deal with New Japan and is being rumored for the 25th Anniversary of Raw show.
12 Emma – Steep Independent Asking Price
Emma has yet to make a confession pertaining to her release, however we do have some details pertaining to her asking price as her life outside of the WWE is now beginning to take shape. According to the latest news, Emma is quite pricey with an asking price of $2,000 per match, which is quite significant, especially for an indie promotion to pay such a fee. Along with the asking price, Emma also requires full creative control to her gimmick along with full flight accommodations. Emma was in talks with the popular Japanese indie promotion, World Winder Ring Stardom. However, the price was a little too high for the company and they’ve decided to turn the other way in bringing the veteran in.
Asking for such terms, it seems like Emma might be Impact bound, as those kinds of terms are a rarity, especially for indie companies that are strictly female based.
11 Alberto Del Rio – “New Talent Make $500 A Week With WWE”
Alberto Del Rio has taken several shots at the WWE since his bitter departure. For that reason, we’ll have two shocking confessions made by the former WWE veteran. We start with this one as Del Rio dropped this bomb during a periscope live feed; he seemed pretty intoxicated when revealing the news, so yeah, take it with a pinch of salt (however, as they say, sometimes when you’re wasted, the truth comes out).
During the confession, Del Rio stated that working for the WWE isn’t as glamorous as it seems. Alberto took a shot at the company making the claim that new wrestlers make next to nothing with a pay of about $500 a week. Paige watched on uncomfortably as Del Rio dropped the news. Since leaving the company, Del Rio has taken numerous shots at the WWE. Along with insulting their payments towards the newer wrestlers, Alberto has also fired several “Not So PG” shots at Triple H. It’s believed that Hunter was critical of Alberto’s draw value during his return to the company.
10 Eva Marie – “Total Divas Hurt My Career”
Signing with the WWE in 2013, Eva was instantly thrust into the limelight joining the cast of Total Divas. Despite having no experience whatsoever, the company was fully invested in her look. Because of that, she was immediately put on Total Divas.
Ultimately, the decision might have done more bad than good with even Eva admitting that it wasn’t the best idea to start on the show. Total Divas showed us how green she really was to the business. Eva admitted that she would have preferred a couple of years of training instead of immediately joining the show. In retrospect, that would have been a better idea as opposed to rushing her onto the scene, which did her career absolutely no good. Without a doubt, the WWE has learned from this mistake and in all likelihood, a brand new Divas with no prior experience will never be rushed onto the scene again, even if it’s in a none wrestling role on a WWE reality show.
9 CJ Parker – “I Left NXT When I Wasn’t A Part Of The TakeOver Special”
CJ Parker was a rare story of a wrestler that completely failed when the WWE rebranded their developmental territory to NXT. During his time with FCW, Parker was flourishing as a massive prospect under the eye of Tom Prichard. However, once Prichard left and the likes of Matt Bloom took over, it was simply downhill for the talent.
After getting booked as a jobber, Parker’s final dagger was being left off of the first ever TakeOver special. He demanded is release following the snub, as he felt as though his career was going nowhere. His decision paid off as it turns out – renamed Juice Robinson, Parker is now thriving as a mainstay with New Japan. He went from an NXT jobber to becoming one of the most popular babyfaces overseas, even getting a win over Kenny Omega.
8 Simon Gotch – “I Was Miserable Creatively”
Released by the WWE this past April, Gotch became yet another example of a wrestler that caught heat with NXT, but failed terribly on the main roster – a trend we’ve seen far too often in recent years. Gotch was a prominent Tag Team star as one half of the Vaudevillians. Once the duo made it to the main roster, their momentum was halted right out of the gate as McMahon was not invested into the act.
Following the expiration of his no-compete clause, Simon admitted that he was thrilled with the decision to part ways with the company. Gotch admitted the money was good but he didn’t get into the business for the money. Being miserable creatively, Gotch called his departure a good thing for both sides. He’s now working as a mainstay on the indie scene adopting the name of Simon Grimm.
7 Cameron – “I Was Fired By Phone”
Let’s be honest here, Cameron’s WWE exit wasn’t the most shocking, however the way she was released was rather shocking as the WWE phoned Cameron about her departure. After receiving a text from the director of talent relations Mark Carrano, Cameron was released following a phone conversation. At that point, she had been inactive for months with her career seemingly going nowhere.
Although her talent was pretty awful, it was something else that cost Cameron her job. After making a statement about equal pay, Ryback made the headlines for such a controversial statement. To make matters worse, still employed by the WWE, Cameron agreed with the Big Guy in his controversial comments. Frustrated that their own Superstar would agree with such a sentiment, Cameron was immediately released by the company, ending her lackluster WWE run and likely, her career in the pro wrestling business.
6 Jack Swagger – “Cody Rhodes Inspired My Release”
An under-the-radar release that took place in 2017 saw a former World Champion ask for his exit from the company. Betting on his talent, Swagger asked to be released from his contract, although the WWE was hesitant to grant him his release at first, they eventually obliged. Creatively, Swagger’s character was going nowhere and instead of just hanging on for dear life and making a steady pay, Swagger made the admirable decision to leave.
Swagger recently admitted that Cody had a lot to do with his departure. Although Swagger hasn’t made the biggest waves since leaving the WWE, he is said to be very happy working on his own schedule and working for various indie promotions, even if they aren’t the most glamorous. Swagger is said to be thrilled about his decision, re-finding his love for pro wrestling at the age of 35.
5 Rey Mysterio – “I Left The WWE Because Of The Schedule”
Rey’s WWE departure was truly shocking. Becoming a merchandise machine for the WWE, the company wasn’t too thrilled about letting him go. Rey however, completely wanted out at that point, admitting that he was burnt out from all the travel over the last couple of years. Rey admitted the pay was great, however the years of touring finally got to him.
Rey leaving the company meant more family time and a more relaxed schedule, something he looked for outside of the crazy WWE life. Rey found an ideal opportunity with Lucha Underground as the company basically shot episodes like a series. After a couple of months of shooting a season, the wrestlers would be given several months off. For Rey, that was an ideal schedule that he looked for at the later stages of his career. Rey has stated 'never say never' when it comes to a return in the future, however he’s happy with his current part-time role at the moment.
4 Eva Marie – “I Had A Great Relationship With Vince, Hunter & Stephanie”
Although the WWE Universe wasn’t all-in when it came to Eva Marie, the same didn’t hold true with the powers that be according to Eva. Marie stated that she had a great relationship with the biggest powers in the company and that included Vince, Hunter and Stephanie. Eva recalls all three being very positive when Marie decided to branch out into film, allowing her to take on back-to-back roles during her time under a WWE contract.
The IWC could have called this all along. Many believed Eva was using the WWE as a stepping stone into the world of entertainment (such as film). That came to fruition in 2017 when Eva shot the film Inconceivable. She’s also set to play another role in an acting flick shortly. With her recent release, it appears as though a future return to the company seems very unlikely.
3 Austin Aries – “The Writers Are Walking On Egg Shells”
Another shocking revelation made by Austin Aries was making the claim that the writers are walking on egg shells behind the scenes. Aries recalled an incident during Talk Is Jericho that saw him wanting to use a banana as a prop for a backstage promo. The writers struggled with this decision, according to Aries, it was baffling to see how much the writing team would panic at the littlest things (such as including a banana).
It wasn't all bad for Aries though, at the very least, he was given the green light to continue rehabbing his injury at the Performance Center, despite his release. Aries stayed for the 90 day clause and he was very thankful that the company allowed this. He’s now done the 90 day clause and promoting his new book, which is a half autobiography, along with a detailed description on his vegan way of life.
2 Alberto Del Rio – “Paige Should Return Any Day Now”
Once again, Del Rio made a huge splash in the headlines, this time, pertaining to the return of Paige. According to Del Rio, Paige is just a couple of days away from returning. The gossip websites have validated the story as it appears as though the former NXT Women’s Champion is now heading back to Raw after a lengthy departure from the company.
On another note, Paige herself recently made a shocking confession claiming she is now in fact single, ending her controversial relationship with Alberto Del Rio which was on the rocks from the very beginning. With Del Rio gone from the WWE and Paige now single and back with the company, we expect great things from the young star. One can only imagine the ovation she’ll receive once her music finally hits. By all counts, that should take place any day now.
1 Cody Rhodes – “WWE Writers Are Too Busy Hitting On Divas”
Following his WWE release, Rhodes took a unique exit out of the company by issuing a lengthy open-ended letter. The details were a breath of fresh air as Rhodes thanked all of his peers, including the higher ups in the company. However, he didn’t share the same sentiment when discussing the WWE writers. Rhodes stated that he made several attempts in salvaging his character, only to have the writers constantly look the other way. Rhodes made the claim that those writing the material for the WWE were too busy hitting on the Divas behind the scenes. It was quite the statement and an eye-opening one that’s for darn sure.
Oh, how things have changed; Rhodes is now thriving as the American Nightmare, carrying around the ROH World Title. Rhodes has proved that the grass can be greener, giving wrestlers hope that life with the WWE is not the 'be all, end all'.