Following his final WWE match at SummerSlam 2016, D-Von Dudley transitioned to a backstage role and became a producer. He has worked behind the scenes in WWE ever since.
Before accepting the backstage role, D-Von still felt he had more to offer inside the squared circle and he revealed on JOFO In The Ring that he wanted to team with Apollo Crews. WWE ultimately rejected the idea, though.
"I wanted to work with Apollo. Bubba went his way and I stayed with WWE. I wasn't ready to become a producer. I still wanted to wrestle. When I was told 'no' and they wanted me as a producer, not as talent, I took the job," D-Von said.
"I was hearing certain rumblings that Apollo needed to step it up and give it his all and give him that little push. I remember that I volunteered. 'Let me tag with Apollo and help him out.' I did the same thing with Batista and so many other guys over the years. I thought it would be a great thing to do. I was told 'no.' They put him with Titus O'Neil and Titus Worldwide. The opportunity was gone and I was like, 'Damn.' I think me and Apollo could've done great things, but they said 'no.'"
At the time, Apollo had only been on the main roster a few months following his debut after WrestleMania 32. He did little of note until after WrestleMania 36, though, and he is now the reigning Intercontinental Champion.
H/T to Fightful for the transcription