The former Persia Pirotta reveals she technically signed with WWE in 2019.
Despite it being reported that she signed with WWE in March 2021, Steph De Lander has revealed that she technically signed her WWE contract in 2019. In a new interview with Fightful, Lander detailed the process and how she was still doing independent dates after she had signed.
"Yeah. So I signed my contract in 2019. But I was still doing indies and doing all these things. I was in this really weird limbo of still wrestling back home to stay safe and to stay relevant, but at the same time I was being really careful. God forbid I get injured, you know what I mean? I was only wrestling people I really trusted and I felt comfortable with. But it was a really tough time because I had signed, but I couldn’t just put everything on hold and wrap myself in bubble wrap for two or three years or five years or God forbid they just burn my contract. I couldn’t do nothing. So I was still going to wrestling training and I was still having wrestling matches. There was always this little fear of, ‘Oh, my God. Imagine if I get hurt.’ That was a scary thought of I had so much that I had to be healthy for and to look forward to. But, at the flip side, as I said I couldn’t just lock myself in my bedroom for two years. I did sign in 2019."
Despite signing then, Lander made it clear that the contract didn't go into effect until they were ready for her, meaning she also wasn't getting paid until then.
"I wasn’t getting paid during that time. That would have been lovely. But, I mean, look, I understand it. They could have been paying me for three years to sit on my ass in Australia. So I wasn’t expecting to get paid during that time. They didn’t have any say over what I was or wasn’t doing. It was just like, ‘Be safe. Stay in good shape. Be ready as soon as we need you.’ My contract time started as soon as I arrived in WWE. So it was a three year contract that I had signed in 2019 for my wage and all of those things, but that didn’t actually get executed until I arrived. Then I started getting the money, then I started contract, I guess, officially begun. All the paperwork and everything was signed prior to my moving over."
Lander revealed the interesting process that led to her recieving a contract, which happened over WrestleMania weekend in 2019.
"Yes. My process was actually a lot longer than what I think a lot of people realize. Basically to summarize it, in April of 2019 I did a Mania week. I think it was my second or third Mania week on the indies. I did a few shows and there was an indy show that I did and I was on it, Indi Hartwell was on it, Shazza was there and a few others were there. [Jess] might have been that, too. There was quite a few of us on that. It was just an indy show in New Jersey, we didn’t hear anything of it, didn’t know anything of it. Indi had already been in communication with Canyon about getting signed. I hadn’t had anything to do with WWE. I also had returned from injury a month before. So I pretty much did a year on the indies, did ten months out with an injury, then returned a month before I did this America trip. My initial character was a masked luchador gimmick, ‘My Name is FaceBrooke,’ it’s a whole thing. So I switched from that to Steph de Lander. I’d only been Steph de Lander for a few weeks, I had brand new gear I’d never wrestled in before. I wasn’t even the Python Powerhouse. I was still figuring out myself. Anyway, we’re doing this show. I had a really terrible match. It was like a seven woman gauntlet, no entrance music, no nothing. It was an absolute free for all. So I had this match, and then all of a sudden everyone was chatting that Canyon and Regal were there. We didn’t know that. I was like, ‘Oh, my God. I can’t believe I just done this in front of them.’"
Lander contiuned on about her expierence with Canyon and Regal, even noting that she officially was offered a contract in the middle of the night.
"Anyways, so it was intermission. Indi went up and spoke to Canyon. I said to her, ‘Should I go and speak to Canyon?’ She was like, ‘100%. Go right now.’ I was like, ‘Oh, my God. I didn’t do well. I don’t think I looked very good. I don’t know what I’m doing.’ Anyway, she forced me to, so I went up and said, ‘Hi, Canyon, my name is Steph.’ I was expecting him to be like, ‘You need to learn how to work. You need to learn how to look better. You need to figure out all of your shit because this is not good.’ I went up to him and he was like, ‘You looked amazing as soon as you came out. I was like, ‘Who is this?’ I write your name down.’ He was like, ‘Get my email address,’ and we go from there. So I was like, ‘Oh, shit. Oh, my goodness. Okay.’ So then I came back. I knew it was Mania week, so I was like, ‘I’m gonna give it a week to let everything settle before I email him.’ I sent that email off, I didn’t hear back for another three or four weeks. I was like, ‘Oh, whatever. Everyone makes a million promises in wrestling, but its just one of those things.’ I always mess up the date, I think it was the 11th of May or the 1st of May, some date in May. It was a Wednesday and it was midnight in 2019. I was s lying in bed and Indi messages me. She goes, ‘Hey. Canyon just called me and he offered me a contract.’ I was like, ‘Oh, my God. Really?’ She was like, ‘Yeah, 100%.’ I was like, ‘Oh, my God. He is on his phone right now. I’m gonna double text him. I’m gonna send him another email. I don’t care.’ So I pick up my phone, I’m like,
‘Hey, Canyon. Don’t know if you saw my last one. Here’s a match.’ Put my phone down, a second late—DING! I’m like, ‘No. It can’t be him. Surely not.’ Pick up my phone, check my phone, and it’s Canyon and he goes, ‘Hey, Steph. I spoke to Mr. Regal and he said that you’d be a great hire so long as you have the right attitude. When will you be in the US or the UK.’ I was like floored. I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe all I had to do was send that message. You know what I mean? Maybe I never would have heard back again if I didn’t chase up."
Elsewhere in the interview, Lander spoke about being caught in the cross hairs of the big NXT changes. Click here to see more.
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