Drake Wuertz was fired by WWE on May 19 as part of a handful of releases made by NXT on that day.
Wuertz worked as a referee in the promotion and many had become concerned for him recently as his conspiracy theories were pushed on social media, and even in county commissioner meetings while wearing an NXT polo.
Speaking on Fireside Chat, Wuertz opened up about his release.
"I was expecting it. My heart had not been in it for the past six months. It got to the point where I didn't feel right about the atmosphere and I was just coming to work for the paycheck. When it gets to that point, it's time to step away. I went into work to go to Terry Taylor's class and was called into the office. Canyon Ceman let me know I was being let go. It wasn't surprising. They let me go say goodbye to the coaches I was closest with, Terry Taylor and Matt Bloom. It was bittersweet because I spent more time there than I did my own family," he said. "It wasn't my performance. My performance never wavered and the trust in the ring never wavered. I was frequently requested by top talent."
Wuertz worked the NXT show the day before his release and made sure to note that he wasn't wearing a mask when he entered the Performance Center the day of his release.
When asked when he started to feel a shift in how those in WWE looked at him, Wuertz replied, "November, right around the election. It all started with woke cancel culture that just wants to attack people because they have views they don't agree with. It started specifically with me and WWE was when David Bixenspan started attacking me. That's when the ball got rolling."
Bixenspan wrote an in-depth article looking at Wuertz' outside activities in WWE, which you can read by clicking here.
Wuertz stated he is not part of QAnon, never endorsed QAnon, doesn't believe in conspiracy theories, has no affiliation with the Proud Boys.
After his release, Fightful reported Wuertz was "either formally or informally suspended earlier in 2021 and was not permitted at the Performance Center for several weeks."
Wuertz explained his suspension, saying, "A month before WrestleMania, I get a call from my department head, Scott Armstrong, who says, 'Somebody tested positive at work, we're asking everyone to quarantine.' I called him back and was like, 'I have stuff to do. I'm not sick. I tested negative. I haven't been around anyone.' I told him I had church, the Walk For Life, and I coach my son's baseball team. Those responsibilities were more important to me than pleasing WWE. I told him, 'No, I'm not staying home.' I got a call saying, 'You're off TV for two weeks, you violated quarantine.' 'For going to church?' They refused to answer."
Wuertz said he is not a COVID denier and admitted that he tested positive for COVID, but didn't experience any symptoms.
"Of course I believe in COVID. My grandparents have both had it. I caught it for a little bit. A whole chunk of the roster caught it. I didn't have any symptoms, the only reason I knew I had it is because they stick the stick up our nose two times a week," he said.
When asked about his future, Wuertz said, "I wouldn't say that my time in wrestling business is done, but the days of that being my entire existence is behind me."
Wuertz is scheduled to return to the ring under his Independent name Drake Younger on June 26.
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