After his WWE release as part of the COVID-19 cutbacks in April and his IMPACT Wrestling return at the recent Slammiversary pay-per-view, Eric Young spoke with Chris Van Vliet for an in-depth interview about how the last three years of his career in WWE made him hate the business and why Vince McMahon has failed as a leader.
Featured below are some of the highlights from the new Eric Young interview.
On not taking his WWE release personally:
“When they said they were going to release talent, I knew for sure I was going to be on that list. It’s nothing personal. I don’t take it [personally]. I’m not bitter in anyway. One person made a massive mistake. I’m not the first person he’s made a mistake on, and I will not be the last.”
On how he hated the business because of how he was used the last three years while working in WWE:
“It’s a weird situation to be in. You love something so much, pro wrestling, me and my wife talked about this. My first love in my life was pro wrestling. It was the first thing I cared about so deeply. It consumed everything I did. Every minute, the job I had, the people I talked to, everything in my life was based around pro wrestling and how I could further myself and advance my career. The last three years, I hated it. I didn’t watch it. I didn’t talk about it. I avoided it as much as possible. That’s a weird place to be in.”
On how in WWE you’re always trying to fix other people’s mistakes:
“With the WWE, I’m not the first guy to say this, Moxley talked about this a bunch, it’s a broken system. It’s impossible to be creative. It’s impossible to get ahead. It’s impossible to feel like you have even a foothold in your career at all. I’m a person that spent 20+ years grinding, trying to make my reputation and it’s basically dumped on by one person for no reason whatsoever. He looked up from his cellphone for five seconds, saw me doing something that maybe he didn’t agree with in that moment and that’s the end of it. The whole time you’re there you’re just trying to fix other people’s mistakes. That’s what it feels like, and it’s an exhausting process. You’re not having fun. There’s no creativity. He wants everyone to be the same, do the same things and sell the same way, and that’s not what pro wrestling is to me.”
On Vince always treating him with respect:
“He always treated me with respect. When we talked, we definitely had a few personal conversations between me and him. I had pitched some things and told him what I thought. He was receptive to it. Nothing ever came of it. I don’t take it personally, but I’m in this position because he couldn’t recognize that I had anything to offer.”
On how Vince failed as a leader:
“The last thing I’ll say about it is this. If you have a three hour pro wrestling television show and you can’t find something for me to do, then you’re failing as a leader. Plain and simple. You failed your company. You failed the shareholders, you failed the fans and you failed yourself. The reason I wasn’t on the show was his choice. No one else’s.”
View some of the highlights of Chris Van Vliet’s new interview with Eric Young below.
Follow Wrestling-Edge reporter Matt Boone on Twitter @MattBoone1984.