Jake Atlas Reveals He Asked To Leave WWE Prior To His Release
Atlas departed WWE in August
The former Jake Atlas has revealed he actually requested his release from WWE a month or so before the promotion let him go from his contract.
Atlas was one of a number of names cut from the roster in August as the promotion let the likes of former North American Champions Bronson Reed and Leon Ruff, Bobby Fish and Mercedes Martinez depart from WWE NXT.
Atlas has now opened up on his departure, revealing that he actually requested to be allowed to leave WWE a month prior to being cut, as he sought to be allowed to focus on his own mental health.
In an interview with Denise Salcedo, Atlas said: "I was at dinner, it was that Friday night and I got a call from WWE incorporated. So that must mean that I don’t have the contact because that was the caller ID. So I was like ‘that’s interesting, anyone that has to call me, I have their name saved.’
"There’s a lot that needs to be unravelled, but I’ll answer your question first then we can dive into the specifics. It was John Laurinaitis who I’ve never had a conversation with, he called me and he said that they are executing my 30-day non-compete clause and that was that. It was a 20 second conversation, I didn’t ask any questions, I was already expecting it and I kinda just numbed myself for the phone call.
"About a month or two before that happened, I won’t get into the specifics about the actual conversations, but I’ll give a little insight on what was going on behind closed doors. I signed a three year deal with WWE, so around June/July I got offered a contract extension by Canyon Ceman, I turned it down. For my own reasons, we had a conversation and I said we could revisit it in 6 months. Little did I know that within that conversation, between that conversation and whenever I got released, as you are aware there are a lot of changes going on with that company and I started to get a little bit nervous.
"My entire run in WWE was the most, and I don’t know how to word this, it was probably the worst mentally I have ever been. My mental health was probably the worst it's ever been, the last two years that I was with WWE. 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 a ‘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.’
"I had requested a meeting with Triple H for 6 months, and I never got it. I think that that was the thing that kinda had me worrying the most in that ‘I don’t know how they see me, or how they view me, or how they value me.’ 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.’ I was told that I would get the meeting with Triple H and a couple weeks passed, I took a trip to LA, in between when I had the final conversation about what was going on with me. 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?"
The full interview between Denise Salcedo & Jake Atlas can be viewed here. In this hour long conversation Atlas breaks down his release from WWE, shares his experience working with the company, talks about his future and so much more. Atlas has also confirmed that this is the only interview he will be doing in regards to his release.