Former WWE star and current Impact Wrestling World Champion Eric Young is the guest on this week’s “Sitting Ringside with David Penzer” podcast.
Young talks about starting his year with WWE and being released in April, returning to Impact Wrestling, what went wrong in WWE, not being surprised by his WWE release, his relationship with Triple H and Scott D’Amore, and much more.
Here are some highlights from the interview:
Eric Young was asked if he was surprised he was released by WWE: “I don’t know if I was blindsided as much as most. I was surprised it didn’t come earlier in the pandemic. We weren’t being asked to work, I was making a very lucrative amount of money to basically do nothing. So, it didn’t come as a surprise to me. When they released the statement saying they were going to be cutting back on personnel, I knew I was going to be on that list. In no way shape or form did I think I should have been on that list, but I knew what the reality was.”
Young told us Triple H was interested in bringing him back to NXT after being called up to the main roster: “I was still talking with Hunter and he was very interested in having me back in NXT after WrestleMania. That is where I was supposed to go. Obviously plans changed and the pandemic happened and I got furloughed or fired. I say fired but they are going to say furloughed because it sounds better.”
Young talked about how his debut on SmackDown was supposed to happen: “We were supposed to be with New Day and during the show which was our debut. The main event was an 8 man or a 6 man, I can’t remember, but it was 3 guys vs New Day. New Day was going over and then our music would hit and we would stand at the top of the ring to end SmackDown and that would be the first time you see us. SmackDown would go off the air with the three of us standing there. It would have been a cool moment and a cool spot to be in working with New Day but the match went long so we are standing there in gorilla position and they cut it because we wouldn’t have time to get out to the top of the ramp and then shoot us. They would have only been able to shoot a couple seconds and it would not be effective enough. The next week, for whatever reason, that plan changed and we ended up doing something with the Usos and through this cosmic event that happened, Shinske Nakamura was on a house show in California. We were there with him and he got attacked by a bomb-sniffing dog and bites him and he has to go to the hospital. The next day at SmackDown we are in California and they said someone has to wrestle Jeff Hardy for the U.S. title. I’m pretty sure it was BG James that said Eric Young is excellent, he’s a heel and he’s new so it’s a good spot for him so have him come out and challenge Jeff, so that’s what we did. Well, Eric can’t beat Jeff. We don’t know who Eric is yet. We know Sanity is brand new and then it’s like maybe the Usos can come out and we can attack Jeff. So, it goes into a 6 man. They can’t go over because the Usos are going for the tag titles and Jeff has the U.S. title so the first time seeing us work on TV, we get beat and immediately I knew we were done and dead in the water.”