Tye Dillinger opens up about his decision to seek his WWE release.
On Feb. 20, Tye Dillinger posted a statement on social media announcing that he had requested his release from WWE. Days later, WWE granted his request, officially releasing him from his contract. Dillinger became a cult hero in NXT with his Perfect 10 gimmick but the act, for one reason or another, didn't translate once he got called up to the main roster. Frustrated by his lack of opportunities on the main roster, Dillinger felt he had no choice but to leave the company.
Appearing on Edge & Christian's Pod of Awesomeness, Dillinger went into detail about his decision to leave.
"The decision had been in my mind...it was a six-month process. I got injured in October but before that, I was going to ask for a couple weeks off to clear my head and figure out what I wanted to do. But then I got injured, so that gave me three months to think. I changed my look, I changed my gear, and I pitched half a dozen ideas," said Dillinger. "I (talked to Vince McMahon) and I might have put my foot in my mouth, but I needed to say what I needed to say and I stand by what I said. I did feel that when I came back, things were going to be different. They were not. I had a conversation and was told to wait and give it a few weeks. Weeks passed and it was it. It put me in a bad place because my performance was suffering. I was dreading it. I was praying that (the audience) would acknowledge that I still existed because it felt like I didn't at the time. When you're not giving it your all, they could see it and it wasn't fair to them. It was time to go. I was probably late in leaving, actually."
Dillinger continued, taking fans through the day he decided to ask for his release.
"A month before, I had made the decision that I was going to go into television and (ask for my release) on (my birthday). It was the hardest decision I've ever had to make. I didn't ask many peoples opinion about it because I didn't want to be influenced. It needed to be on me. My family had no idea. My mother had no idea. My wife [Peyton Royce] knew," recalled Dillinger. "As you guys know, right now is a good time for wrestling overall. I walked in and I said to talent relations, 'I need to go.' They said, 'we're about to offer you a substantial raise.' I put my hands up. I'm not close to a millionaire but for me, it wasn't about the money. I didn't let him get the offer out of his mouth. I found out what it was a couple of weeks later but it wasn't going to change anything. I was still going to feel the same way. They said they would run it up the ladder and I gave them the day to do so. I messaged Hunter and said, 'Please talk to talent relations when you can.' To Hunter's credit, every time I've asked to talk to him, he's always given me the time of day. I didn't hear anything by the end of the day and I couldn't let them fire me twice. That's why I put out that statement."
Dillinger was previously released by the company in WWE before working his way back and getting re-signed in 2013.
WWE has made a habit of offering big money to those who are unhappy. Fightful reported that The Revival were offered a five-year deal worth $500,000 per year amid reports that they are unhappy and want out of the company. Jim Ross recently stated that a WWE undercard talent accepted a $500,000 per year deal to remain with the company instead of leaving.
Dillinger went on to say, "I am the happiest I've been in a very long time and I'm excited for the first time in a long time."
Dillinger is going by the moniker Shawn Spears once again now that he is back on the Independent scene. He stated that he has bookings through August. You can find more on his upcoming schedule by clicking here.