Adam Maxted: Stripper Misunderstanding Cost Me A WWE Contract

Maxted ultimately didn't sign with the company

Northern Irish wrestler Adam Maxted has revealed him being billed as a former stripper cost him a WWE contract. 

The former Love Island star started wrestling in 2016 and he attended a WWE tryout in 2017. WWE wouldn't sign Maxted at the time, but articles about his tryout from the likes of The Sun that referred to him as a "former stripper" prevented the former World Of Sport wrestler from working with NXT UK in 2020.

Reports in late 2020 noted Maxted was close to signing with WWE's UK brand ahead of it's relaunch during the COVID-19 pandemic and the self-proclaimed Most Handsome Man In Wrestling detailed why he didn't end up joining the company on BodySlam's Tea and Tights Podcast.

"So time went on, Covid happened. Unfortunately, NGW weren't able to pay our contracts so I was obviously technically a free agent. So I messaged Mr. Regal and said, 'Look this is the situation, I'm not tied down to anything anymore.' Then I had a call from Canyon Ceman, he said, 'Mr. Regal and a few others speak highly of you so we want to bring you into our NXT UK brand.' So they offered me a contract there and then, they said as soon as I finish the phone call, the contract will be sent through, well the contract offer, and you know I am obviously excited, I'm like here comes the next chapter. I've worked hard for this time to step up, here we go. I'm not sure if you know, you probably do, you've got to go through background checks in WWE to then get signed so that they can cover themselves," Maxted said.

"So, here's where the story takes its turn. So basically, and this is the truth, when I was younger, when I worked in Belfast, I used to do some work as a buff butler. Which involved wearing a bowtie and an apron and I'm mainly working at hen parties or women's events. I'm walking around with champagne, passing their drinks, nothing crazy, and I did that because it was easy money, I was in good shape at the time. I was like 17, 18, 19, you know just trying to earn some money. So I did that. But funnily at the time I did my try-out in 2017 a couple of news articles came out, 'Belfast stripper gets WWE tryout' or 'Belfast stripper is close to signing with WWE.' So, I didn't think anything of those articles because I was like well no one is gonna even see those so doesn't even matter, I knew it wasn't true anyway, I never got fully naked, you can google my name there's nothing like that out there because I checked all this and didn't do it anyway. There might be the odd picture of me in an apron.

"So basically background check gets done I was in Greece at the time I get the phone call from a lady that works for the WWE, she says, 'Look Adam what's this stripper thing about? We need to talk about this.' I pleaded my case for about 30 minutes on the phone, I didn't do it, WWE was always the goal for me, why would I want to jeopardise myself and my career by doing something silly like that when I know you can't be naked? There can't be footage of you out there, I am not silly. 

"Even when I went on Love Island, I portrayed myself in a certain way as I was always worried about the cameras, how I was coming across, because WWE was always the goal. The producers took me outside one day, and told me like, 'You've never sworn once on your season of Love Island, you've never said a bad word.' Because I was always thinking don't say anything silly because you know with WWE it can always come back to haunt you," he continued.

"I pleaded my case and the lady said, 'Okay I'm going to go back to our PR team and see what happens.' A couple of weeks went past and they got back to me and they said, 'Look Adam there's nothing we can do at the moment, it's kind of, you're on hold basically.'

"I guess this happened at a very similar time that the Speaking Out movement came out, so one of the emails I got was basically, you don't want the scrutiny of 'why have you released some Superstars from the brand, but all of a sudden you're signing a stripper?' Which really got to me and really annoyed me because I know that that's not the work that I did and it wasn't true. Yeah, I did some buff butlering but there was nothing ever flashing or nothing ever involved because I wouldn't have done that anyway, my mum wouldn't have let me do that stuff!

"I know it wasn't true, but also the more I thought about it, I guess I see where the company was coming from. The PR team who work for WWE, they're probably not die-hard wrestling fans or they don't know me personally as a guy. They don't know the work I've done to earn that opportunity, they're just thinking we need to protect our company we've got to protect the brand, and we don't want any more negativity on the brand, because there already was some.

"That's basically the truth and the story, I was 99% ready to go down to the PC and start my training and sign the contract, do my medical, and then because of these 2 or 3 articles from 2017, I didn't get my contract."

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Aidan Gibbons

Written by Aidan Gibbons

Editor-in-Chief of Twitter: @theaidangibbons