Former WWE NXT star Jake Atlas spoke with Denise Salcedo about a wide range of topics including his release from WWE due to budget cuts.
WWE cut a lot of talent last year and even more this year in addition to employees. Not only has the main roster been impacted, but NXT as well. It turns out that Atlas asked out of his deal shortly before being released.
He started out by noting that he signed a three-year deal with WWE. Around June-July, he was offered a contract extension by Canyon Ceman, but he turned it down. After a conversation, they agreed to revisit the topic in 6 months. At the time, he didn’t know of the changes that were going to happen to NXT. He noted that for the majority of his run in NXT, his mental health was bad.
“So when I turned down the contract extension, I counter offered with some terms of my own and I more than anything wanted a meeting with Triple H and our conversations were kind of at a standstill, and as you know Canyon ended up getting let go himself. So then that put me in a really weird situation, I had asked Canyon for my release at some point in our conversations, it wasn’t an ‘I wanna leave,’ it was more so a conversation of ‘ I want to be here, and feel like I have so much value and I feel like I am not being heard.’”
He continued by noting that he requested a meeting with Triple H for 6 months, and he never got it. Atlas was worried about how the company views him.
“There were a lot of things that I wanted to do and talk about and I was just given the runaround. So I said that ‘I wanted to ask for my release, I don’t want to, I want to stay but my mental health comes first and I am suffering.’”
He continued, “I took a trip to LA to unwind, and I wanted to go back for the summer, then I came back and it was the week after that I got let go. I don’t have the answer as to if I was already on the chopping block which is why I was hesitant to even say that I asked for my release because then people would be like ‘you’re ungrateful.’ I understand the narratives that people will want to say by me saying that I wanted to quit. You have to understand that my mental health was really bad, not at that given moment. I am strong now but the entire time it was not good. So I felt like I needed to leave for myself like I needed to put myself first. So I just want people to understand and not think that I was ungrateful for having a job because they’ve been releasing left and right. I take my mental health and my sanity and being alive before I take having a job. To this day I don’t know if I was already on that list to have been cut or if they went through Canyon’s emails after he got let go, saw that I didn’t want to be there. I wish I knew that answer, but I don’t want to ask. I’ve moved on completely, I obviously asked for a reason and when it happened it’s like be careful for what you wish for, you got it, what’s next?”
Atlas also noted that he was informed of his release by John Launratis and the conversation lasted about 20 seconds. Atlas will make his ROH debut this Sunday at the Death Before Dishonor PPV.
He also talked about his experience working with the company, his future, Vince McMahon’s trip to the Performance Center and much more. You can watch the full interview here: