For 15 months, The Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder) waited for their WWE release. The duo first asked in January 2019, frustrated that the tag team division was not being spotlighted enough. The release finally came on April 10, 2020 after a rollercoaster 2019 where WWE offered them big money to stay while pushing them, and embarrassing them, on television.
"It was hard for me to turn down the money they were offering because I have a family. But it was harder for Daniel. He said, 'I'll do whatever you want, I just want to make sure your family is taken care of.' But it goes back to wanting to do something special for the business. If we can do that and still make money -- I talked to my grandma about it and she said, 'That's a lot of money to turn down.' Then she got quiet for about 15 seconds and said, 'But David, how much money do you really need?' As soon as she said that, I said, 'You're exactly right.' I talked to Daniel and we agreed that we would work through our deals, be professional, but as soon as they are up, we were out," said Dawson.
Dash added, "I was okay leaving and taking a paycut. People think we have an elevated opinion of ourselves. It's not just us. We just know what tag team wrestling can do and we want tag team wrestling across the board to get time and respect."
Vince McMahon wanted to turn the team into a comedy act, which Dawson & Wilder agreed to, knowing they were leaving when their deals were up. However, before the gimmick came to life on television, they were pulled off the road.
"I don't know if they actually wanted us, but the threat of us leaving when another company was getting a lot of buzz, they didn't want that. They knew there was an opportunity for us outside of WWE and they wanted to keep us away from that opportunity. They gave us a big spiel about how they wanted to use us, we talked with Vince, and they presented us with these characters that were less than flattering to us. It wasn't what I felt that we should represent. I don't know too many guys that have any self-worth, would have taken that opportunity. We said 'no, we're not happy here' and they took us off the road. The last thing we did was beat up Braun Strowman, so I guess we got our tag team revenge on him," said Dawson.
It was reported by Fightful Select that The Revival signed over trademarks in order to avoid WWE adding time to their contracts. When they were released on April 10, there was no non-compete clause attached, allowing them to sign elsewhere.
If there were any doubts in their mind that they had made the wrong decision, those doubts were erased shortly after the news of their release broke.
"The day we were granted our release, I got a text from Bret Hart and he told me how proud he was of us and how we stood up for ourselves and what we believed in because it would have been easy to sit back and collect the money. When he sent me that, I knew beyond any doubt that we did the right thing," said Dawson. "The guy who is the king of standing up for himself -- he punched Vince in the face -- the guy who is the epitome of standing up for what he believes in, took five minutes out of his day to text me and tell me how proud he was. That's when I was like, "hell yeah, we're on the right path now.'"
Dash and Dawson were two of the first men to rush the ring at the WWE Hall of Fame 2019 and jump on the man who attacked Bret Hart during his speech. While escorting the man out of the building, Wilder gave him a punch for good measure.
Elsewhere during the interview, The Revival discussed their final meeting with Vince McMahon. You can find their full comments by clicking here.
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