The Legion of Pain, formerly known as AOP (Authors of Pain) in WWE, open up about their releases and their decision to stay away from the wrestling ring during the global pandemic.
AOP was main eventing episodes of Monday Night Raw regularly toward the end of their run with WWE. Paired with Seth Rollins and Buddy Murphy, AOP was a part of some of the final main roster moments inside the ring for names like Samoa Joe and The Big Show.
Recently, the duo spoke with Fightful about a multitude of topics and opened up about their decision to exit WWE and whether or not they ever had any doubt they would end up back in the ring.
Fightful: Your WWE releases were perhaps the most shocking, given the upside to both of you. How did you feel when that happened and was there any doubt in your mind that you would wrestle again?
GZIM: “No. Absolutely. It was a decision that me and Gzim had already made. There was nothing shocking about it. We were offered to do something we didn’t want to do at the time and we opted out of it. That was it. Whatever you see online and whatever you’ve read before, that was the truth. Me and Gzim both said, ‘Hey, we don’t want to do this at this time. We’d rather be with our families.’ There’s no ill will with the company. We got no bad feelings. I’m sure they don’t want any bad feelings with us. It was mutual and we went our separate ways. It was the right thing to do at that point. Like I said, we had to take care of our families. We did just that and now we feel our families are secure, they’re comfortable and we can go back to work. That was it. There was no shock. No, ‘Oh, wow. I didn’t expect that.’ No, no. None of that.”
SUNNY: “Absolutely. People who get it, they get it. It was very uncertain. Work and feeding your families even. You don’t go into the grocery stores ‘cause the grocery stores were only open a couple of hours. There was a lot of things that we took into consideration before making that decision. I’ve got no regrets. I know Gzim has no regrets. We’re comfortable, you know what I mean? It was the right thing to do at the right time.”
GZIM: “Me and Sunny, we’re always on the same page. We’re crazy. We just felt we needed to take time off. We always stayed in good contact and we always stayed in good contact with Paul. We said, ‘Once the moment is here to come back, we’ll come back.’ It feels just right now. It’s time to come back.”
The duo has started their own promotion, Wrestling Entertainment Series. Originally slated to debut on June 4 in the United Kingdom, the inaugural event for WES will now take place on July 9. Learn more here.