Following the monumental signing of Paul Wight, formerly known as The Big Show, to an AEW contract, the seven-foot star has detailed his departure from WWE, saying he actually received a phone call following the announcement that he had become All Elite.
Answering a question from Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful on the post-show media scrum following AEW Revolution, Wight would reveal how there’s no animosity between himself and Vince McMahon, revealing that the WWE CEO actually called to congratulate and thank him on the day he signed with AEW.
“Vince actually called me the day that it was announced that I signed with AEW, wished me a lot of luck, agreed that I’m a huge asset at AEW, thanked me for all the years that I worked in WWE. There’s no animosity, there’s no anger, there’s no dirt, so to speak. It just came down to contract negotiations and opportunities. Let’s face it, over 20 years at WWE, I have done everything there is to do and WWE. I needed a fresh start. For me, I think Vince understands that and understands that, for me, as a talent, this was the opportunity to do that. But, you follow the rules.
Wight confirmed that he didn’t reach out to AEW or Tony Khan while under contract, but stated that he and WWE mutually dissolved his employment – which allowed him to meet with Tony Khan and subsequently “take a leap” to Jacksonville.
“I couldn’t reach out to Tony Khan or AEW while I was still under contract. I came to terms with a mutual dissolution of services when I left WWE. There’s no anger. I needed the freedom to pursue different opportunities and when that contract came to an end, that was the thing where I took the leap of faith and hoped that my reputation and the industry in the work that I’ve done, would earn me a meeting with Tony Khan and just to be able to talk to him and hope that he would understand that I can be an asset for AEW.”
The new commentator for AEW Dark: Elevation would detail meeting Tony Khan at 10pm to talk about wrestling and what he could offer AEW.
When my contract expired, I had a chance to drive up to Jacksonville and Tony and I had a meeting at 10:00 at night in his office and we talked about wrestling and psychology and what I want to do in AEW and one of the big passions that I’ve had for a long time is getting into color commentary and trying to bring my experience from the ring, like Gorilla Monsoon or Jesse Ventura would bring to commentary to bring the talent in the ring forward and help tell the stories, and also the opportunity for me to compete with some fresh talent, some people I haven’t had the opportunity to work angles with oh, some people that I can also help get better. Also, a new environment, a new place to work, helps reinvigorate yourself.”
While Paul Wight is excited to be in AEW, he did admit to nerves and even being scared regarding his WWE departure, but admits he’s grateful it all worked out.
“Believe me, leaving WWE was a little bit scary because I had so much tenure there and so much experience and had basically already paid every due that I needed to pay in WWE. To leave that stock and to put a lot of faith in yourself and say, ‘hey, if you’re really passionate about this and you want to do this,’ then you have to put your big boy pants on and give it a shot. I’m very grateful and very thankful that it all worked out.”
You can catch AEW Dynamite every Wednesday Night at 1am on FITE TV.