All Elite Wrestling shocked the professional wrestling world a few weeks ago when they announced the signing of Paul Wight. The former WCW and WWE World Heavyweight Champion had been with WWE for much of the last 22 years and many didn't expect him to ever leave the company. He now finds himself in AEW, though, as a part-time wrestler and full-time colour commentator on AEW Dark: Elevation.
Wight explained why he decided to leave WWE during a chat with Renee Paquette on Oral Sessions and he noted much of it came down to creative frustration.
"This is a very quick decision that was made in a matter of 48 hours for me... I think just creatively it was just frustration. I've gone back and forth with Paul Heyman and Bruce Prichard and Vince, and I had some medical issues a couple of years ago where I had some problems with the hip real bad. And you know how things are there, you kind of get out of the loop a little bit and it's real hard for them to work you back into the loop no matter how much talent you have, no matter how much you have to offer," Wight said.
"And it was just frustrating to me because, yeah, sure I was making money, I worked once against Drew after WrestleMania there and I did a couple of things. Like I came in to be partners with Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe and then that went out and it's like, 'I need more than this kind of stuff.'
"I've never been ever a sit on the bench guy. I'm not gonna take money to sit at home and be happy like a little princess. That's not my deal. I like to work for my money, I like to earn it and I like performing... I love doing what I'm doing and I think that was the biggest thing that was a letdown for me was not being able to get something going creatively.
"And I've known Vince for a long time. And he gets focussed and he gets blinders on and he's doing what he's doing, it's real hard to be that squeaky wheel that gets the grease. If you're not at TVs and you're just sitting there and nobody is like, 'Hey, Paul Wight's still alive. Paul Wight, he's cleared. He can work.' And it just got frustrating to the point of I just got frustrated with trying to knock on the door.
"And they were trying to use me for other things. They wanted me to do the community relations thing which is stuff I love to do anyway, but they were trying to do me a favour I think and put me up for Shady Pines. I don't want to be in Shady Pines. I tried to tell them like, 'Look, don't put me in Shady Pines.'
"So I had an opportunity to do something else and I took it. And here's the thing, I talked to Vince, I talked to Kevin Dunn, you know, nobody's mad, nobody's upset. It's not an anger thing. The day I signed Vince called me and wished me all the luck and said I'm gonna be a big asset for AEW and have a good time."