WWE News

Toni Storm Details “Frustrations” That Led To WWE Exit

Toni Storm posing

AEW star Toni Storm has opened up about the frustrations that led to her abruptly walking out of WWE and quitting the company.

It was reported on 29 December that Toni Storm had quit WWE following a live event the day before in Washington, D.C. The former NXT UK Women’s Champion worked a Triple Threat for the SmackDown Women’s Championship alongside Sasha Banks and the defending champion Charlotte Flair.

Now sitting down with Renee Paquette on The Sessions podcast, Toni Storm has revealed everything that went into her decision to leave WWE. Storm begins by acknowledging that she had enjoyed her spell as part of NXT but everything changed when she joined the main roster:

“I had some good times in WWE, it was cool at one point and then it wasn’t. It changed and I didn’t want anything to do with it.

“[Things changed] When I went from NXT to SmackDown. My main goal in wrestling was to be on Raw or SmackDown, main roster, WWE TV. I got there, I figured it out pretty soon and realised this is just not gonna work out. Also, I’m 26 and I wanna have a really good time in this job, I wanna have a really good career and I wanna enjoy part of it and I wasn’t enjoying it for so long. And I abruptly quit.

“I didn’t even intend – I woke up that morning having no idea I was gonna quit by that night. I just snapped out of the blue and all of a sudden I was on this ninety days. During that time I wasn’t expecting to have all this time off, I thought for sure I was just gonna continue working there forever. Then all of a sudden this ninety days hits me and I don’t know what – I don’t know if AEW would have me, I don’t know what I’m gonna do but my first thought was probably ‘maybe I’ll go back to Japan’ because I liked it out there.

“I was going back and forth for a while in my own head going ‘do I even wanna do this anymore?’ because I was so frustrated as you can imagine, it can be frustrating. Really it got me pretty down and then that ninety days it was just about figuring out what’s next. I went back to Australia because I hadn’t been home in two and a half years. It was good to go back, I went back for a month and reset.”

Toni Storm then explained how she didn’t want to be miserable but had been warned that some don’t find life in WWE easy:

“I say it wasn’t what I thought it was gonna be like people were telling me it was probably gonna be terrible for years. I heard that of so many people, so many people were like a lot of people don’t enjoy it at all and for some people, it works out, and for some people, it just makes them miserable and I guess I fell into that category. It just wasn’t for me at that point.

“Let’s face it, they just fire people left, right, and centre out of the blue. I could be fired next week and like, what’s the point? It just felt very pointless, to be honest. It’s been hard to convey that, especially to fans, especially to people that aren’t in this business and they’ll never understand. I must sound ridiculous to these people.”

“I’m not mad about the booking and I certainly don’t want to bury WWE, I don’t want to say bad things about the place. I had a great time there, for the most part, there were times – I have very great memories. It made me who I am essentially. I feel like I grew up with them, I had a very unique relationship with them.

“I’m lucky that I got to experience all of this, I got to work with some amazing coaches. I’m not mad, I’m not angry at WWE, I don’t have anything against them. I’m sure they’ve got bigger fish to fry than me, like why do they care? People get let go from that place constantly, people move around constantly, it doesn’t matter if I’m there. What matters is well I’m not having a very good time, why shouldn’t I be having a good time?”

The Australian star then detailed her frustrations with WWE and admits that she came to not feel appreciated by the company:

“It was a complicated ordeal. I had built up frustrations with the place for a very long time, a lot of people do, just like the next guy, a lot of people do. They don’t give a sh*t so why should I?

“I know what’s gonna happen here, I’m just gonna be sent back to catering again. I’m not gonna succeed here, I know they see me like I’m such a kid, and I’m such a newbie and this, that, and the other but I like to think I’ve been around wrestling long enough to know what’s right and what’s wrong for me, and what I like and what I don’t like and I didn’t like it at the end of the day.

“I didn’t feel that appreciated. I felt that they didn’t, at times, have very much respect for me. It totally – I feel like over time they just crushed my love for wrestling, it wasn’t even wrestling anymore. You’re not even allowed to say wrestling, you get given in the group texts ‘don’t say professional wrestling in promos’ and this that and the other and I understand but whatever.

“There’s so much f*ckery, there’s so much bullsh*t, each to their own, some people don’t get that and some people do. I was just sick of it. I was tired of [thinking] what am I doing this for? What am I trying to prove to anyone? Will anyone think any different of me really? Do people really care where I go and do fake wrestling moves?

“Do people really care that I’ve gotta be miserable day in, day out? Just because people go ‘that was ungrateful, she shouldn’t have done that blah blah.’ Well, I was unhappy, why should I be unhappy? So that I can do WrestleMania, well that’s nice and everything but I’m still gonna be miserable the next day.”

Toni Storm then reflected on building her life around her dream job of working in WWE from the time she was ten-year-old but by the time she left the company she just wanted the WWE “stink” off of her:

“I thought my whole purpose in life was to go to WWE but over time I realised it’s just pro wrestling that I love, it’s not a company that I love. I just love pro wrestling. It was something that I once enjoyed was just a job, I wasn’t psyched to go to work anymore like I used to be. I was like that in NXT but quickly [I knew] this isn’t gonna work out, this is the pinnacle and I’m already miserable and quite frankly, I see other people and they’re miserable as well and I don’t want to be like them. I just wanted a bit more control over my life.

“To be completely honest, people might hate me for it but I just wanted to get them off me, I wanted to get the stink off me. I was done with it – I don’t mean that in a bad way. Nothing bad to them, it was just I don’t wanna be a part of this. If anyone asks, I don’t know, Toni Storm quit WWE because she went insane [laughs]. I felt like I was going insane, I hadn’t eaten for days, I hadn’t slept for days. It’s not like I was drinking or going out partying, I was sober like this. I was like ‘oh my God, this has gotta end.’

“I’d never considered a life outside WWE, I’d never dream what that might be like, my life was just ‘be in WWE’ and that’s what it’s been like since I was a ten-year-old girl and studying WWE, what do I have to do to be good enough? What do I have to do to be there? What have I got to do to be the number one person there? And it was just exhausting. If my life is dependent on being WWE Champion then I’m a mark and that’s just lame.”

As far as the day that Storm quit goes, she explained that things had built up to head but says it wasn’t the WWE schedule that burned her out, but rather not having as much control over her life:

“It was a very complicated day. It just all built up, pent-up frustration. I’m not being funny but they call you out like a paramedic, you’re on call – I’m not an open heart surgeon you know? This is wrestling. You don’t need to have full control over every second of my life.

“People think I was just burnt out from the hard schedule but it’s not the hard schedule because quite frankly, my indy schedule was ballistic, I never went home, I never go home. I’m chasing those busy days, I’m chasing working a lot and working really hard. I love that but not like that.”

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