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AOP Discuss Why They Believe They Were Released By WWE

AOP Akam Rezar

Former NXT Tag Team Champions AOP – Akam and Rezar – have discussed what surrounded their WWE exit and say promises were made by the company that weren’t kept.

Known as The Authors Of Pain in NXT, Akam – Sunny Dhinsa and Rezar – Gzim Selmani set the wrestling world alight with their no-nonsense high-impact offence. After dominating the black and gold brand under the tutelage of ‘Precious’ Paul Ellering, AOP made their main roster debut in April 2018 and soon found a new – if unlikely – manager in Drake Maverick.

The duo captured the Raw Tag Team Championship shortly afterwards and after some time out due to injury, the pair returned in November 2019 as Seth Rollins’ henchmen. Rezar suffered a torn bicep in March 2020, shortly before the world shut down due to the pandemic and both men were released by WWE in September of that year.

Speaking to Renee Paquette on The Sessions Akam explained why he believes AOP were let go by the company:

“The pandemic started, and at the time, like everyone was super, super uncertain about what was going on, because I was living in Canada in Vancouver at the time, so I was flying back and forth. Then the borders shut, right. So I couldn’t do that anymore. Gzim hadn’t been home in two years at the time, he was worried about his own family because the whole world was getting shut down.”

“People were getting sick left, right, and centre, right? WWE had approached us with something different that they wanted us to do. and we were just like, ‘Hey, man, we just don’t feel comfortable doing it. At the time, that was the best decision for us. We decided to just stay with our families and stay home.”

“I’d rather not [go into details] it was something in the company, obviously. But at the time, if you remember, we were working with Seth, we’re working on top and we had this huge storyline. But at the time, Gzim had just gotten hurt. He tore his bicep. I think that was the last Raw before all the restrictions went in and then we went without a crowd, I believe and he’d just torn it.”

“The whole time was coming back and just doing what we were doing before, and what had happened was he came back after four months and the script had completely changed and what they wanted us to do, at the time, we weren’t really comfortable doing. We’re family, man. I’m an only child. I like taking care of my parents. Gzim’s got a brother and sister but at the same time, he likes taking care of his parents, too. They’re getting older.”

“So I just said, ‘You know what, this is good. I got to stay home and take care of my family. Gzim said, ‘That’s the best decision for me as well.’ Then after that, we didn’t even think about wrestling, you know, all the offers or whatnot, we sat back and we were just like, ’We’re just gonna let this pandemic end,’ and the pandemic never ended.”

Rezar added that both men were happy to continue to be a part of WWE until the company seemingly went back on a handshake agreement:

“Our hearts are still in wrestling. Coming back in this way, we love it a lot. But of course, if everything would have gone well with WWE, we saw ourselves still wrestling for WWE, right? I came back after hurting my bicep. I rehabbed it in three and a half months, like in 14 weeks. It was a double incision, bicep repair. Usually, that’s eight months of rehab. I did it in three and a half months.”

“I went back actually to the WWE office and I told them, ‘I’m ready to go again.’ They said no. I was like, ‘What do you mean?’ I’m just gonna say it here, we shook hands on something really big, and they want didn’t want to follow it up anymore after I got hurt and the pandemic started.”

“So that’s also one of the reasons why me and Sunny said, ‘Hey, we’re gonna go home,’ right? We decided to get on we’re gonna go home and do our things, man. Because we’re people that if you make a promise, and you shake hands, you have to act on it, or you have to f*cking cover promises. Once we feel like somebody doesn’t do that, we cut you off right away. That’s how we are.”

h/t Wrestlezone