Just days after WrestleMania festivities had come to an end, it was announced that WWE and Simon Gotch had come to terms on a “mutually agreed upon release”. It had been almost exactly one year since Gotch’s main roster debut and after months of struggles, his stint with WWE has come to an end. Gotch, who is now using the name Simon Grimm, spoke to Josh Barnett about the release this week.
“They brought it to me and I agreed. It was one of those things where I was unhappy, and they basically felt like the character had run its course. I said I agreed, and they said they wanted to exercise the termination clause in my contract,” Gotch said. “I agreed with that as well and we went from there. This wasn’t exactly an unwanted thing on my part. I wasn’t happy, and I actually felt that was the best move. In any situation, sometimes if you see the opportunity, you take it.”
The release obviously brings an end to Gotch’s partnership with Aiden English. The duo known as ‘The Vaudevillains’ began teaming almost three years ago and rose to prominence in NXT, organically ascending the ranks before eventually winning the NXT Tag Titles in August 2015. On that night the team defeated then champions Blake and Murphy at the monumental NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn, a show that completely changed the brand’s future and overall presence in the wrestling world.
After dropping the belts to an emerging Dash Wilder and Scott Dawson, the team soon to be known as The Revival, The Vaudevillains were called up to the main roster following WrestleMania 32. Gotch feels that the team’s end is good for everyone though, “I think ultimately, it’s probably for the best. Aiden English is getting an opportunity to show himself as a solid singles competitor,” Gotch commented. “I’m going to get the opportunity to show that I’m capable of more than just being the character. Realistically speaking, both of our careers will be better for it. It played out the best it could have.”
Since the release there have been constant rumors of a backstage incident being the last straw for Gotch’s time in WWE. Gotch disputes that anything serious took place though, “The actual story is that it happened at WrestleMania. I was sitting in catering and the chair I was in was kinda flimsy. I go to shift in it and it just collapses underneath me. Being a ham, my immediate reaction was to demand someone pin me. ‘Someone pin me quick.’ The guy who comes over, I think he works for us,” Gotch continued.
“I didn’t realize he was a local technician and was not a WWE technician. He was someone who worked on the set at ‘Mania. He came to help me up and I’m like, ‘Nope, you gotta pin me. C’mon, man.’ And he’s not going along with the bit. He thinks I just fell and he’s trying to help me. I see the bit’s going nowhere so I take the chair and I just kick it off to the side, drop it like a little punt and let it lay where it lands. That was it. I saw the story online, saying that I fell in the chair and made this big scene and was yelling and screaming. No part of that is accurate.”
Now a free agent, the newly named Simon Grimm is officially taking independent bookings and it will be interesting to watch the recent WWE alumnus adapt to a variety of new environments. You can read the full For The Win interview here.