Rachael Ellering was part of the first releases made by WWE during the pandemic in April 2020.
Ellering had not wrestled since July 2019 due to an ACL tear suffered at an NXT live event. Not only was Ellering released in April 2020, but her boyfriend Chris Hero (Kassius Ohno in WWE) was also released at that time.
Speaking to Taylor Wilde on Wilde On, Ellering reflected on her WWE release.
"It all started when I tore my ACL. Anyone who gets injured, it's more mentally difficult than physically at times and it definitely was for me. I had a lot of bad experiences with the medical staff I was working with and then COVID hit and both myself and my boyfriend were fired," she said. "Losing our jobs at the start of a pandemic was scary and sad. That was my dream job since I was a kid. It was difficult to come to grips with how poorly that whole experience went and obviously how it ended. Then, when you realize that we're in a pandemic and I just couldn't go work somewhere else. You just have these thoughts like 'I wish one of us kept our jobs.' You're saving up for real life things like a house. I've always wanted to take care of my mom. You save and then you realize 'shoot, now I have to take that and survive until things are normal.' It was all extremely challenging. I fell into a deep hole and I'm sure a lot of people did over the last year. So many people lost their jobs and couldn't see their family. I love wrestling so much and not being able to do that physically hurt me. When you put so much time and effort and love into something that is your job and you're no longer able to do it and don't know when you'll be able to do it again. I was cleared six months after my surgery. Physically, I was all good. I went through the physical thing and the mental thing and it was back-to-back of where I couldn't wrestle. It ended up being this long period of the thing I'm most passionate about and love and want to dedicate my entire life to being great at, you can't do. I got to a really bad place."
Fortunately, Ellering was able to land on her feet, joining IMPACT in April 2021 and becoming a Knockouts Tag Team Champion alongside Jordynne Grace.
As for her boyfriend, Hero was at the ROH Best in the World event this past Sunday where he worked as an agent. Ellering said he is still "waiting for the perfect thing to come back with."
Ellering is not currently scheduled for a bout at IMPACT Slammiversary. You can view the lineup for the show by clicking here.
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