Former NXT North American Champion Velveteen Dream has made the claim that WWE wanted him to compete in a mask following serious allegations made against him.
Patrick Clark was a contestant on the sixth season of Tough Enough and despite his relatively early exit, he ended up penning a deal with WWE later that year. It wasn’t until 2017 when Clark’s WWE career took off on NXT when he debuted as the Prince-inspired Velveteen Dream.
In January 2019, Dream won his first gold in the company when he defeated Johnny Gargano for the NXT North American Championship. He held the belt until September when he was defeated by Undisputed Era’s Roderick Strong.
In April 2020, accusations surfaced that Patrick Clark had sent explicit photos to an underage boy, this was followed up by accusations in June that he did the same to an underage girl. These accusations were part of the wider Speaking Out movement in the wrestling industry at the time with many accusations made against stars in several wrestling companies. Clark has consistently denied the allegations against him.
Despite fan support deserting Velveteen Dream in the midst of these allegations, it wasn’t until May 2021 that he was released by WWE, five months after he last competed in a WWE ring.
Now speaking on the Dishing Drama podcast, Clark has made the audacious claim that WWE wanted him to compete under a mask, presumably to hide his identity:
“Just so you know, WWE definitely considered bringing me in with a mask and having me not speak.“
At the time of Velveteen Dream’s release, Dave Meltzer noted in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter that his release was due to an incident that was reported to upper management by one of the ‘top stars’ in the company and had nothing to do with the 2020 allegations:
“We were told the firing didn’t have to do with those charges or anything that had been made public, but for a different incident that one of the top stars in the company alerted management to.”