Several former NXT Superstars as well as a number of former World Champions have paid tribute to William Regal following his surprise departure from WWE.
On January 5th, William Regal was released by WWE after more than two decades with the company.
During his time in the ring, Regal became a multiple-time Intercontinental, European and Tag Team Champion as well as King of the Ring. Regal is widely regarded as one of the best wrestlers to never win a World Championship.
After hanging up his boots, Regal transitioned into a backstage role with NXT. This led to him becoming the much-loved on-screen General Manager. Behind the scenes, Regal operated as head scout for the company under the title Director of Talent Development and Head of Global Recruiting.
Following the news of his shock departure, WWE stars past and present lined up to pay tribute to the man they said had made them who they are.
Kevin Owens said there was “no way” he would be where he is today without the veteran, while Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch said she was “eternally grateful” that Regal gave her a chance when she was nothing.
Sasha Banks, who worked closely with Regal during her time in NXT, said that there would be no Sasha Banks without the British legend.
Eternally grateful that Regal gave me a chance when I was nothing. I owe so much to him. pic.twitter.com/ML4c4KgICa
— The Man (@BeckyLynchWWE) January 6, 2022
I truly can’t overstate this:
There is no chance I would be where I am today without William Regal.
I’m so grateful for his advice and guidance throughout the years.
An absolute example of what I aspire to be when my time as an active performer in the ring is done. https://t.co/HmbltoOwYT
— Kevin (@FightOwensFight) January 6, 2022
There would be no Sasha Banks if it wasn’t for @RealKingRegal thank you for giving me a chance and believing in me. 💙 Forever grateful
— Mercedes Varnado (@SashaBanksWWE) January 6, 2022
Nothing but good things.
I was grateful for his advice, flattered by his compliments, improved from his notes and loved listening to his stories from back in the day.
Was very cool for me to work with him on tv.
— Killer Kross (@realKILLERkross) January 6, 2022
— Shotzi (@ShotziWWE) January 6, 2022
Regal was one of a number of releases from NXT, with a series of backstage figures including Road Dogg, Chris Guy, also known as Ace Steel, who worked as a coach, notably with CM Punk, Dave Kapoor aka Ranjin Singh who was working with the NXT brand after previously managing The Great Khali, and Ryan Katz who had been working with NXT since 2015 all departing.
It was later reported that the releases were linked to the continued evolution of NXT 2.0. The report went on to say that staff familiar with NXT and the Performance Center have said they believe the cuts have been made to “directly remove” several hires made by Triple H – an exception to that being Allison Danger who was also let go. It was also reported that WWE officials didn’t deny that this was the case.