Deonna Purrazzo Recalls Conversations With Matt Bloom, Paying For Her Own Vignettes

Deonna Purrazzo was signed by WWE in 2018, spending the majority of her run in NXT.

Though Purrazzo worked the live events, she was rarely featured on television.

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Speaking to Renee Paquette on Oral Sessions, Purrazzo recalled her frustrations with NXT.

"Let's pitch some stuff, see what they're thinking. When you ask too many questions, then you become a problem. I asked too many questions and I really couldn't kick that habit of being like, 'Okay, now what. Okay, but me. Hi, I'm in the back, what about me?' The more I asked, the more people got upset and I was labeled as a problem and difficult and that people didn't want to work with me or I wasn't working hard enough. You fall out of love with it when you're not doing it to the level you know you can do it as. It was disappointing and I felt like, 'what did I put myself through to get here?' I wasn't just here now, I had done so much prior to prove myself and make them think, 'she's worth it, she's a star.' I was traveling with SmackDown and being an extra at NXT. It felt like it was all for nothing," she said.

Purrazzo continued by saying, "That's the vibe that I got that I was doing wrong. We would have the skull sessions and they would give you a critique. I was in a class when I felt like l could do all of these things. I was in Serena's class and she was trained by my trainer so it's all the things we were doing, I did before I got (to NXT). I would sit down every week and be like, 'Let's watch this match. What can I do better?' I wasn't necessarily getting a lot of feedback of, 'this is what you can do better.' It was like, 'this is good, maybe this you could have done something here or play with your music or entrance.' It wasn't wrestling-wise, no one was telling me different. That was my biggest complaint. I go to Matt Bloom and was like, 'Okay, I came here to be a TV star and I'm not. If you're not going to tell me what I need to do to be a TV star then what am I doing here?' In hindsight, maybe I did that too soon."

Before being signed by WWE, Purrazzo had established herself on the Independent scene, most notably working for ROH and Stardom. Despite her background, Purrazzo had trouble working herself up the ranks.

"I felt like I should have had more credibility than given credit for," she said. "Obviously, it's a whole different environment and I had never actually been signed to NXT and I needed to find a working relationship with all the girls. When I was first released and I said all these things, people were like, 'she didn't want to work hard.' That was not it. I just wanted to move up in the ranks. For whatever reason, I was not doing that. As simple as, I was in the intermediate class, how do I get to the TV class? What steps do I need to take to be there. There was no answer. If you're not telling me what I need to do to be there, you're choosing me to not be there and that's bullshit."

Purrazzo wanted to work on her character in order to receive more television time. Despite her efforts, she says that didn't receive the proper feedback neccessary to get more TV time.

"I didn't feel like anyone else was backing me up, so I had to take that initiative. At first, you start with the little questions like 'what more can I do? Did I do something to offend someone?' I looked for any reason why this was not working out, and then you become frustrated," she said. "I would literally sit in Matt Bloom's office and we'd be yelling at each other from across the table. He would feel one way, I felt another, and I was just advocating for myself. 'I don't think you're seeing it.' It was simple things like, I went out and spent my own money to have vignettes. By no means is character work my strong suit. Wrestling is my strong suit and I know that. A big part of what we do is promos and character work. A lot of NXT is based on having these big characters. Going in, I knew it was something I needed to work on. Promos, I would literally cry in promo class because I didn't like my peers staring at me. It was something I needed to work on. I would consistently try to film stuff and be in the extra promo booth talking to show them I was working on every aspect of me and was willing to put in the extra work to make it work. Things like that didn't work."

Purrazzo was released by the company in April 2020.

Elsewhere during the podcast, Purrazzo revealed if she would ever return to WWE. You can find her full comments by clicking here.

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