Nidia Remembers WWE Release, Explains Why She Retired At 26 Years Old

The following is an excerpt from Fightful's long-form feature on Nidia, doing her first interview in well over a decade. Check it out at this link, and see the full interview above! When aggregating this story, please link back to the long-form itself.

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The first week of November 2004, a major WWE bloodletting occurred. Johnny The Bull, Test, A-Train, Chuck Palumbo, Rodney Mack, Billy Gunn, Gail Kim, Jazz, Rico, Lamont and Nidia were all released by WWE.

Another Tough Enough winner in Linda Miles also left the company, in what many assumed was a firing. In actuality, Miles and Nidia had discussed quitting the company just prior to the mass cuts. That made things a lot easier for her, and probably for the person making the call to release Nidia as well.

"I wanted to (quit). I was actually afraid of breaching my contract. So, when Johnny Ace called and he told me that. He was like, ‘Are you okay?’ ‘Yeah, I’m fine.’ I go, ‘How are you?’ He’s like, ‘Ugh. It’s been an awful day. I still have a few more phone calls to make.’ So, I was actually consoling him. ‘Oh, Johnny, it’ll be okay. Just keep at it, bud.’ But, yeah, I was ready to go. Like I said, I wasn’t being a good employee. I wasn’t really trying. They made the right choice," Nidia said. "It’s really hard to maintain a good [attitude.] I don’t know how it is right now, but back then there was just so many politics. It was like, I even came back home and I hung out with friends that I’d known all my life and I said something and I’d go, ‘But I didn’t mean it that way! What I meant was—’ They were like, ‘Dude, you’re really paranoid about the things that you say. You’re not speaking freely.’ I was like, ‘Man, because over there you have to watch what you say.’ This is more of a RAW thing. Like, on Smackdown everybody was cool, but on RAW, you have to watch what you say because everything was taken so out of context. So, for me it was a very hard way to live, you know? Yeah. It feels like a lot of those guys… When you perform, it’s like this adrenaline rush. I think some people really can’t separate themselves from that and they will continue to be in this really bad relationship just for that high, you know?"

No bad blood on Nidia's part. She never wrestled in the company again, and a decade later was profiled on their website. It wasn't just WWE she was done with. After about a year, she never wrestled again.

"Yeah. I know it sounds awful, but it’s not for everybody," Nidia said.

That's not to say she never wrestled outside of WWE, but there was a method to the madness.

"I didn’t do any shows in the US. I only did shows in places that I wanted to go to, and then I would extend my stay, right? So, it was just like, ‘Oh, cool, free ticket to Italy! Awesome. Three weeks? Make it for six. That’s fine, you guys go home, I will stay here for a little bit.’ But, it was great because I got to do so much traveling. When I was in the WWE, I did a lot of traveling, but everything was so condensed that we didn’t really have the time to see the places. This was just a perfect opportunity. I mean, you flew there for free, you did a few shows, and then it’s like a paid vacation. I was very lucky that I knew I wasn’t going to do it for very long and I had enough money saved to where I could have a little fun with it. It’s like I would pick jobs where I was working with people that I was familiar with. Because, and you know this, there’s a lot of people that are not trained well out there. They will put you at risk. I was like, ‘Man, there’s gotta be somebody trained by the [WWE] if we’re going to do this,'" Nidia clarified.

Just under a dozen matches that we could find. Italy, Australia, Mexico twice, Puerto Rico. Usually, Nidia was standing across the ring from Gail Kim, who set up our interview (thanks, Gail!). There was a reason for that. Gail recruited her personally to some bookings...even to South Korea! On a show with Sting, AJ Styles, Jeff Jarrett, Dusty Rhodes, Raven, DDP and other stars, Nidia was hand-picked by Kim.

"(South Korea) was awesome. I was actually in Puerto Rico. It was Gail that called me. She was like, ‘Hey, buddy. I need you to come wrestle with me.’ She was wrestling someone, but she wanted to add me to the mix. She’s like, ‘Can you come?’ I was like, ‘Alright.’ So, I went straight from Puerto Rico to there and it was cold. All I had was like shorts and mini-skirts. But, it was a lot of fun. I think it was very clear where I was heading because Gail would pretty much set all this stuff up. It was very clear that I wasn’t going to do it. I mostly did it for her. I think that was pretty obvious," Nidia recalled, also sharing kind words about Styles and Christopher Daniels, who she worked with in Australia.

Since then, it was radio silence from Nidia. Occasionally an interviewer would catch her at a signing, but outside of that, she is largely unreachable.

"I don’t have any social media," Nidia specified. "I’m completely off the grid. So, if you see anything out there, it’s not me. I’ve had people be like, ‘I messaged you on whatever,’ and I’m like, ‘I don’t have anything.’ You see any personal pictures of me? Because that’s not me. It’s such a tricky business because it will keep you there. It’s a little carrot. It’s like smoking. If you’re addicted to smoking, you can’t have one cigarette. So, I just cut it off completely. Then every now and then I’ll be like, ‘Hey, you know what? I kinda miss it,’ or ‘I’m going to go see a friend over in here, I’m going to be in the area.’ One time I did a signing ‘cause I wanted to go to a concert. So, the Italian singer was going to be playing in New Jersey and somebody called me, ‘Hey, you wanna come do a show?’ I was like, ‘I actually need to get there that weekend. Yes, I will do a show.’"

She had brief discussions with TNA, who helped set up her Austrailian dates, but nothing more ever came of it. 15 years later, Nidia closed the door on a wrestling return when speaking with us.

"No way, man. That stuff hurts. You know this. Wrestling hurts. It beats you up. Your body, your bones. I can’t take that stuff anymore," she said.

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