TJP opens up about his release from WWE.
As the winner of the Cruiserweight Classic and the face of the rebooted cruiserweight division, TJP seemed destined to be a top guy in the division for years to come. But when the cruiserweights were introduced on Raw in 2016, TJP was quickly lost in the shuffle. Things didn't get any better when the cruiserweights were given their own show, 205 Live, in November 2016. The inaugural new era Cruiserweight Champion floundered on the show for years before finally being released by the company in February 2019.
In an interview with Sportskeeda, TJP discussed his release from the promotion.
"There’s not much transparency with their administration. They micromanage everything and have layers of 'fall guys' in place to absorb everything. But I always had a direct line with Vince, ever since day one. All three years I was there, I never hesitated to knock on his door and speak to him face to face - and he always was available to me for that. I learned a lot from him, he listens to everything, considers everything, and I couldn’t ask for more in regards to all that. Some people that have issues with the company I think really have issues with being told, 'No,'" recalled TJP.
"I’ve always subscribed to the idea that it’s not my money or my investment. It’s his. So it’s not up to me to decide what’s right for him. I can just suggest what I think is best in regards to what I’m involved in and he decides what he will do from there.
"I’m disheartened at the lack of priority for my community and Asians in general, and my goals, but I would never have a problem being told, 'No.' I can make any situation work. My unhappiness mostly stemmed from the culture of the lower administration. The micromanaging from writers and producers and the way guys are played favorites and manipulated. It makes the job not fun."
TJP continued, discussing how he fell out of love with wrestling while being part of 205 Live.
"My favorite times were dealing with Vince or Hunter directly. They were always kind and fair. But dealing with the 205 producer and creative was miserable. I used to love wrestling. For 20 years, I loved it. Never fell out of love with it until 205. No matter how bad life was before, I always looked forward to going to the ring for 5-30 minutes on any given night, any given year. But the last few years, I would show up to the arena and wonder how my match that night will be wrestled for me, through a referee's two-way headset. I would be in the ring and often be watching the match unfold just like anyone else on the other side of the guard rail."
With his WWE career behind him, TJP has already started taking Independent bookings. In the interview, TJP revealed that he has 55 dates scheduled between May and November. And his wallet is doing pretty well as a result.
"I don’t really have a destination in mind to land. I’ve had contact with basically everyone but I don’t know that I have time to start until the winter and by then I may have filled that schedule already. I’m enjoying the freedom, I’m falling in love with wrestling all over again. I’m financially doubling what I would have if I had stayed in WWE. I may never want to give this freedom up. If I do land somewhere, a certain amount of freedom and flexibility will have to come with it."
TJP recently appeared at AAW's Take No Prisoners event on May 11, losing to Myron Reed.