On May 19, both EJ Nduka and Drake Wuertz were released by WWE.
Shortly after their releases, Fightful reported that a confrontation took place between the two, which Nduka confirmed happened in 2019.
Nduka said the confrontation happened as he and others were setting up the ring and Drake yelled at him to do something across the ring.
Nduka told Fightful, "Drake was in the middle of the ring and there was something on the other side of the ring, a turnbuckle pad or something, Drake being Drake, he was yelling, 'We need somebody here right now!' Me and Tuhutti (Miles), we're tying the knots and he looks at us and says 'You two get up here right now and put the pads on the turnbuckle.' I slowly turn and look at him and said, 'We're doing this right now. We're going to finish this and then we'll get to that.' He snaps, just yelling at the top of his lungs, 'No, you get in here right now!' I slid into the ring, everyone is watching, me being who I am, I got up and in his face and said, 'Don't ever talk to me like that again. Not even my father talks like that to me.' He had said 'boy' or something like that, something that triggered me. I don't know anything about him. I don't know him from the next man. I know that he's different so I got in the ring, looked him in the eye, and he took a step back and started yelling again. I slid out of the ring and said, 'Let me talk to you outside.' Everyone is like, 'Ohhhh.' I walked outside, he came out and we talked like men. I said, 'Look, I know you've been here for a while. You're a man, I'm a man too.' I asked him, 'Do you think you were respectful? Even if you thought I wasn't doing what I was supposed to be doing, do you think you respectfully asked me to do what you wanted me to do?' He was like, 'No man, you're right.' I'm the type of person that will nip it in the bud right there. If I feel like you're being disrespectful, I'm not going to continue to allow you to be disrespectful to me because I've shown you nothing but respect. We had an eye-to-eye and that was the last day Drake did that to me. I didn't have an issue with him. It was one of those things where after it happened, I walked back to the locker room and everyone was like, 'Good on you. That's how you stand up for yourself. You weren't doing anything wrong. You were doing what you were asked to do.' Sometimes, you have to check somebody because they'll keep walking all over you and talk a certain way. That's not how I operate."
Nduka was adamant and specific in saying from that moment on he never had any issues with Drake Wuertz.
Speaking on Fireside Chat, Drake gave his side of the story.
"My attorney sent me something about Ezra Judge, EJ, there was a report that he and I got into a big altercation and a fight. I'll tell you exactly what happened. It was at a live event, EJ was fairly new and one of my jobs is leading the ring crew on the Florida loops. Everyone gets together to set up the ring. Any time there is a new class coming in, we teach them how to set up the ring and do it safely and efficiently. I was pulling cables and calling stuff. I looked up, my mistake, I thought I saw EJ slacking. I said, 'Hey man, come on, pick that rope up, let's go.' Sometimes, as a crew leader, you're not yelling at someone, but you have to raise your voice across the room. I was in the wrong because I took the perception that he was slacking off. He was just trying to tie some buckles. I walked up him and I didn't call him 'boy,' there's a report that I called him, 'boy.' I never called him 'boy.' Ever. We didn't go outside right away. The ring got put up, I felt bad, and we went outside and talked like grown men. I apologized. I could have handled it better. If there was a big altercation, you would have heard about it right away. Referees have to yell at people. It happens every ring build," he said.
It should be noted EJ said, "He had said 'boy' or something like that, something that triggered me," and that it was not part of the report.
Fightful Select's report, which was published on May 19, said the following:
There were a couple of instances where we're told that minorities within NXT took exception to the way things were worded by Wuertz. One situation we've heard of involved EJ Nduka (Ezra Judge) almost feeling the need to get physical with Drake.
Elsewhere during the interview, Drake gave his thoughts on being released by WWE and admitted he tested positive for COVID-19. You can find his full comments by clicking here.
If you use any of the quotes above, please credit the original source with a h/t and link back to Fightful for the transcription.