For over a year The Revival (Scott Dawson & Dash Wilder) wanted out of WWE. The duo asked for their release in January 2019 and thought they were going to get it at that time.
But like many things in WWE, plans change.
"It was somewhere around mid-January that we had initially told to the office and asked for our release. At the time, we were told we were gonna get it. Things obviously change," Dash Wilder said on Talk Is Jericho. "We wrestled Lucha House Party and it was the first time we got a victory. We had fun with them because they could do so much cool stuff. We had been told not long before that they had plans to put the tag titles on us. That's why we got the victory over them. But Dax and I had been debating for months about staying. Our plan was to get through the Christmas loop because it's a fun loop, you make good money, and it's a good locker room. We said, 'After the loop, let's wait until we're on the upswing, so it doesn't look like we're only upset because we're losing, and then ask. That way people know it's not just about us, it's about the tag team division as a whole.'"
Dash continued, "We're still adamant that there's not enough attention paid to the tag team division. We had the victory that night and we knew the tag titles were in our future and that's when we asked. We wanted to make a point, 'We know things are going well, all things considered, but we're not happy.' The tag team titles don't really mean anything, the division -- this has nothing to do with Braun, he's a great guy, but he had steamrolled the entire division and then a 10-year-old won the titles at WrestleMania, no tag teams were featured at SummerSlam until they added the Women's Tag Titles at the last minute, which I'm all for, but it was last minute so no one knew. We wanted to make a point that the tag team division doesn't get the respect and time that a lot of teams deserve. We wanted to take chances on ourselves. That's why we asked when we asked. It went on for a long time and 15 months almost to the day we got our release."
WWE attempted to keep The Revival throughout the entire 15 months, reportedly offering up to $750,000 per year to both men.
Wilder stated, "The numbers that have been reported contract-wise, $750,000 a year or whatever, it was higher than that."
But it wasn't about the money or even the titles according to Wilder and Dawson. They wanted the tag team division to be elevated.
"When we asked, we went straight to the top," said Dawson. "Initially, they may have thought we were bluffing. They said, 'We were planning on putting the tag titles on you and giving you this big run. Daniel said, 'We don't care about winning the tag belts or having a big run. We want the whole division to be featured. We want everyone to get an opportunity to work.' They initially said they'd give us the release. Talent relations told us we could have our release. As soon as we walked out of talent relations, everyone knew. I don't know how, but everyone knew. Right after that is when people said we were complaining. I dare you to ask any of our co-workers if they ever heard us complain. In 2019, we were booked more than anyone. If all we did was complain, they would have stopped booking us. We worked our asses off in 2019 to show that the tag division could be something and we wanted to show Vince that tag team wrestling could be something. And it never panned out."
He continued, "We knew, underneath it all, there was never going to be a real push for tag teams. For whatever reason, if you're in the tag team division and you're two singles thrown together, you have a much better chance of being featured than being a standard tag team. We knew there wasn't going to be a big focus. That's why we worked so hard in 2019 to make it a focus."
The Revival had a rollercoaster 2019 as they won the Tag Team Titles, were embarrassed by The Usos, teamed with Randy Orton, and then faded into the background.
"We spoke to one guy in particular that has always been open to us," began Dash. "In his heart, maybe he believed it. He thought things would change, power would shift, and more things would be delegated out. Things wouldn't be reliant on one guy. He believed it and when he told us things were going to change, I think he meant it and he was hopeful. But I remember straight up, to his face, we said, 'We're not happy. We don't think the tag division will be featured or respected and we would like our releases.' After he said things were going to change, he believed it, but I told him, 'We don't want the tag titles. They don't mean anything at this point. I would rather lose to the champions as opposed to hold them because it's going to be chalked up as a failure of a run. I want actual solid proof that the division, as a whole, will get TV time and you'll invest promos and segments and development into these guys, otherwise, it means nothing.' We told them, 'If things change, we'll gladly re-sign, we don't want to leave. But if things don't change, we see no point in staying because we want to make tag team wrestling mean something because there's no point of us being here just to collect a paycheck.'"
Dawson & Wilder were both proud of the work they put in during 2019. The duo wrestled 149 total matches in 2019 across television, pay-per-view, and live events.
Before they were released in April, Vince McMahon had the idea to turn them into a comedy team. Elsewhere during the interview, The Revival stated they were willing to do the gimmick as a way of being professional and knowing they would be leaving when their contracts expired. You can find their full comments on the gimmick by clicking here.
Following their release, Fightful reported that The Revival signed over trademarks to get out from WWE adding time to their contracts. You can find more information by clicking here.
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