Andrade has opened up about his WWE release, saying he was offered an NXT return ahead of his departure – but revealed that he turned it down as he didn’t want to take a step back.
“I never proposed going back to NXT. They proposed it to me. But when they noticed that I’m quitting, they asked me if I wanted to spend a year in NXT, then go back to the main roster and I told them that I wanted to make it on the main roster. I don’t think being in NXT is a lesser thing, but I would rather be out of the company than be in NXT because at least out there, I can make more noise. I don’t have anything against NXT or the wrestlers there, but I didn’t want to take a step back.”
Andrade added that he spoke with Triple H before asking for his release, stating that the meeting was via phone call as he had COVID.
“I spoke with Triple H before I asked for my release. It was over the phone and not in person because I had COVID. Two days before my release, I still talked with Triple H. I told him the truth and that I wanted an opportunity. He told me that they honestly were not aware that he was ready. I don’t know who in the office wouldn’t tell Vince and Triple H that I was ready since November. They didn’t know that I was medically cleared. [Triple H] told me that he didn’t know. He then told me, ‘How about a run on NXT?’ I told him that I wanted an opportunity on SmackDown or RAW.”
Andrade, who was NXT Champion from November 2017 until April 2018, said he didn’t want to complain to the wrestlers, and that he also didn’t want to be being paid for doing nothing.
“I didn’t want to be someone who stayed in the back complaining, but complaining among the wrestlers. I don’t want to complain to the wrestlers, but talk to the office and say I want an opportunity. I don’t want to be four or five years doing nothing and just receiving a check. I was asked for maybe a year in NXT, then return to the [main roster] and see how things change.”
Surprisingly, the former United States Champion added that he was actually offered more money, and that they negotiated over potential opportunities but couldn’t meet in the middle.
He said he knows how talented I am and how successful I am in NXT and was offered more money. I told him I don’t want to go to NXT. I want an opportunity on SmackDown and Raw. He then told me, ‘How about we let you go and then maybe in three or four years, you can come back?’ We negotiated the best we could but they asked about NXT and I said no. NXT has a lot of talent, but I don’t want to come back.”
Andrade recently confirmed he is not subject to a non-compete clause and could appear in another wrestling ring immediately.