Seven months ago, it looked like VXT was set to take over NXT, but it never happened.
In April 2020, Purrazzo found herself released by WWE in the middle of the Coronavirus pandemic after expressing dissatisfaction for months to higher ups. When speaking to Fightful, she says that she told WWE that she didn't think losing in quick matches on NXT was a good idea for her anymore, but isn't sure that had anything to do with the decision to release her.
"I don’t know if all of these releases were that thought out. Because that was maybe a week and a half before all this happened. Like I said earlier, I do think that because I’ve just, for the last six months, had these conversations of, “Listen, I’m unhappy. Is this ever going to be for me? Because I’m happy doing the job for other people and I’m happy watching my friends and people I care about succeed, but if I’m not going to succeed, then why am I here? What am I doing?” I had those conversations for six months. The week before Chelsea and I went to RAW in December, I actually wrote an e-mail to quit and to ask to be released. I only didn’t send it because then we were sent to go to RAW and it was like, “Oh, well I guess I shouldn’t quit now.” So, this is something that when I tweeted last week, people who know me the best know that this is something I struggled with, wanting myself for a long time. This is something I thought about in December. I spoke to them about it. I was very open with like, “This isn’t the place for me, I don’t think.” I think that is what correlated with me being released, was just they knew I wasn’t happy and they knew I wanted it," said Purrazzo.
When NXT moved to the USA Network, Deonna Purrazzo and Chelsea Green appeared in the crowd together on an episode and seemed to be poised to enter the tag team division. The real-life best friends got the word just hours before it happened.
"It was a confusing time once TV started to go live because some people had to be in class on Wednesdays and then if you weren’t in class it was because you were booked for TV. I think Chelsea and I were in class when got a text being like, “Hey, you’re going to do a crowd appearance. Please be at Full Sail at this time.” It was, apparently, a very last minute thing that was added in. So, we went, we did our hair and makeup, and Hunter came up to us and was like, “This is what we’re going with. I want you to come up with new names, I want you to come up with vignette ideas,” and kind of like made us feel this is the direction we’re going in, you guys going to be a tag team."
Things appeared to be a go. "VXT" would join the likes of Kabuki Warriors, IIconics, The Horsewomen, Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross, Sasha Banks & Bayley, and other WWE women's tag teams. Things didn't end up going that way, though. Chelsea Green was split and put alongside Robert Stone.
"We sent all of our ideas multiple times, didn’t hear anything back, and then we shot a few ID shoots and then Chelsea was doing ID shoots on her own," Purrazzo recalled. "I was kind of like, “Okay, let me have a conversation with someone.” It was that Chelsea was TV ready and I wasn’t. Maybe I shot myself in the foot again because I flipped out. I said, “No, this is part of the problem. I have asked for fifteen, sixteen months now how I can be TV ready for when I get an opportunity and no one has given me critique. No one’s told me if you like my hair color, if you like my gear, if you like this, you like that. Now, I’m getting an opportunity and you’re telling me it’s my fault I’m not TV ready? It’s your fault.' That was like the last conversation we had about VXT because. I said, “I’m not mad Chelsea’s being on TV.” Because if I want anyone to succeed, I have a core group of best friends that I would do anything for and I want the absolute world for. But, if I’m gonna keep being burned by this company, again, what is the point? This was the one opportunity I was getting to actually be put in a storyline and now I’m not ready for it? It was just absurd to me."
Purrazzo was exclusively used on television as an enhancement talent from that point on, but she says that was going on even before. She wasn't willing to settle for that, and as a result, may have landed her outside of WWE.
"It became a running joke in the locker room because I didn’t win a lot of live events either," said Purrazzo. "When Chelsea and I were tagging it would be like, “Well Deonna’s gonna take the finish.” So, it just became a running joke of, “Don’t even ask, I’m taking the finish.” Or I would say to the producers, “I know the finish, don’t worry.” Where at one point one of my last matches before all this stuff happened, I wrestled one of the new girls in one of her first singles matches and I was like, “Okay, do you have a finish?” The producer was like, “No, no, this is her first match, you’re up.” I was like, “You’re sure? You want to get confirmation about that? Because I’m not usually…” We made it a joke, but it became embarrassing. Because I get you can’t always win all the time, but what is the point of having me lose all the time? Because if I’m ever going to then get a push, who are these people beating? Everyone’s beat me. Nothing is going to be believable from here on out if I lose all the time. So, actually, like two or three weeks ago I was supposed to do a Sunday taping that they filmed three TVs right before it was like,“Everything needs to be live!” It ended up not happening, but I got an e-mail saying, “It’s you verse her. She’s up. Clean,” and no more match notes. I e-mailed back and I said listen, “Unfortunately I don’t think it’s in my best interest to wrestle. This person’s already beat me clean twice and I’d rather be held off TV than continue to be called upon as enhancement talent.” I never heard back, I didn’t hear anyone until then I was fired. It’s like, at what point is enough enough to know you’re just being taken advantage of? Is kind of how I felt."
You can see our full interview with Deonna Purrazzo above. Check out her upcoming series on Independent Wrestling TV, as well as her Pro Wrestling Tees Store
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