Paul Wight has discussed why he joined AEW rather than stay put in WWE and how John Cena used to rib him about not being able to shift merchandise.
Wight shocked the wrestling world when he turned up in All Elite Wrestling after being associated with WWE for over twenty years. Arriving to provide commentary alongside Tony Schiavone on AEW Dark: Elevation, the giant star has found himself on the precipice of a return to the ring in recent weeks. Wight will compete in his first AEW match and his first match since July 2020 when he goes on with QT Marshall at All Out.
Speaking to Chris Van Vliet on his Insight podcast, Wight discussed what made him choose to take a leap of faith and head to AEW rather than clutch to his “golden parachute” in WWE:
“There was a part of me that thought the door is going to be closed on this. For so long you can get into your head so many things that put that doubt there. You have to be willing to say goodbye to yesterday to move forward. [Chris says that’s a good quote and put it on a t-shirt]. Well, don’t put it on my shirt because John Cena said I can’t sell merch. He used to tease me all the time. Cena used to say ‘If [Wight’s] merch was money nobody would buy it.’ I said ‘Well that’s because I am too busy making you look good.'”
“Bad guys sell tickets and good guys sell t-shirts. I could have stayed with WWE and made an incredible living, I would have had a golden parachute. All the fanfare would go with that comfort, but I don’t want that. I still like to fight, compete and be part of something. Twiddling my thumbs and being bored, I can’t do that. I am all about what’s right now and what’s tomorrow. Yesterday is not my thing. I don’t care about titles or accolades. I am about what are we doing today and what are we doing tomorrow? To be part of that in AEW, I couldn’t be happier.”
That golden parachute may have come in handy to Paul Wight a few years ago as he also shared the story of being asked to launch himself from a jump tower at Fort Bragg military base.