Beth Phoenix has revealed a combination of frustration with WWE creative over their booking of women's wrestling, and a desire to be closer to family, led to her decision to leave WWE in 2012.
Phoenix won three WWE Women's Championships and the Divas Title during her time with the promotion, with Vince McMahon keen to re-sign her when he contract was coming to an end.
However, the WWE Hall Of Famer admits she was feeling disappointed with how the company was utilising female talent at the time, and believed the situation was not going to change.
Add in the tragic passing of her grandparents and her uncle during a short spell of time, and Phoenix was ready to call her time in WWE a day.
Speaking as a part of a documentary about her career, as a part of the new WWE Icons series, she said: “My contract was expiring in October and they’re like, ‘We’d like to re-sign you. We want to talk about this.’
"I lost both my Grandparents and my one uncle whom I was very, very, very close with. I lost all three of them within a timeframe of a year and I was just feeling the call to go home. I was feeling frustrated with the women. I didn’t feel like there was going to be any change.
“So I had to take a deep breath and I was walking in to tell Vince that I have to go home and leave a dream that I have chased since I was a little girl and close the book. It was maybe one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. It hurt. It hurt terribly, and he said, ‘I understand.’ He gave me a huge hug and he said, ‘Thank you for everything you’ve done for me,’ and I walked out the door."
H/T Inside The Ropes