A former star in WWE NXT has recalled turning down an offer made to him to become a coach rather than a wrestler during his time there.
When Chris Hero, formerly Kassius Ohno, was with NXT, he was far and away one of the most veteran talents on the “developmental” roster.
Speaking on ‘Can Chris Hero Save Wrestling?’ on AdFreeShows, Hero revealed that management actually wanted him to be a coach instead of a wrestler. He said:
“I thought, I wasn’t 100% sure, but I thought I was safe because I was with NXT and our deals were less significant than main roster deals. When you’re not working for weeks at a time and you’re like, ‘Man, I keep getting this paycheck.’ It was in the back of my head, ‘maybe the axe falls.’ Then I get my call at the end of the day. Once people start getting released, I was sending out messages and checking on people. It’s a shitty thing. I’ve been fired before and hurt before, so I know what it’s like to go through those things. All day long, I’m texting people, and in the back of my head I’m like, ‘Haven’t gotten a call yet.’ It was like 5 p.m. or something and I get a call from Canyon Ceman, our talent relations guy. ‘Hey, what’s going on Canyon?’ ‘Yeah….’ ‘Okay, I figured as much.’ He had expressed to me that there was a future for me in the company as a coach or a producer, and that had been expressed to me for years. To the point where, sometimes, it’s a backhanded compliment.
“I had a meeting with Canyon in 2012 and he told me, ‘I think you’d be better suited to be a coach.’ I got fired up when he told me that then and I’m like, ‘I know I’m going to be a good coach, but I want to work.’ At NXT, they don’t have a situation where you have the benefits of being a coach and the authority and also have matches. It’s a weird part of their system that needs some work. I told Canyon, ‘I appreciate that, but not until I’m done in the ring. I don’t want to coach talent and resent them when they don’t live up to my standards because I can’t also wrestle.’ If I can wrestle and coach, I can be a better coach because there’s no animosity built up. If I was being forced to quit wrestling, that’s where the animosity comes from. That’s not a situation I wanted to put myself into.”
Hero was moved to be part of the NXT UK brand later in his tenure but then was one of the many names released last April.
Quote via Fightful