A recently released NXT talent has recalled an incident involving Drake Wuertz, where the talent confronted the controversial referee.
Following Drake Wuertz’s WWE release, reports have said Wuertz made people in NXT feel uncomfortable during his time with the brand.
EJ Nduka, AKA Ezra Judge, has discussed an incident from early in his NXT career, involving Wuertz. Speaking with Fightful, Judge recalled feeling disrespected by the referee while they were building the ring before an NXT show.
Explaining the conflict, Judge said:
“This happened two weeks into my tenure in WWE. I’m greener than money and putting my best foot forward. We’re on the road and doing live shows. The rookies, it’s an unsaid thing, a respect thing, where you put the ring together and let the vets and the guys who have been there take care of their business, handle the matches, do what they have to do. I came from football and bodybuilding, so I understand the hierarchy.
“I’m there with my new class, we’re setting up the ring, and I had never set up a ring. It’s probably my third or fourth time. Mind you, I didn’t even have to be there because the first four weeks of being in WWE, you don’t have to go on the road. You can take your time to find an apartment and settle down. Me being who I am, I wasn’t going to stay at home and twiddle my thumbs, I’m going get in the mix.
“There was one other person who went as well. Ashante ‘Thee’ Adonis (went). He was showing me how to tie the ropes. Drake was in the middle of the ring and there was something on the other side of the ring, a turnbuckle pad or something, Drake being Drake, he was yelling, ‘We need somebody here right now!’ Me and Tehuti (Ashante ‘Thee’ Adonis), we’re tying the knots and he looks at us and says, ‘You two get up here right now and put the pads on the turnbuckle’. I slowly turn and look at him and said, ‘We’re doing this right now. We’re going to finish this and then we’ll get to that’.
“He snaps, just yelling at the top of his lungs, ‘No, you get in here right now!’ I slid into the ring, everyone is watching, me being who I am, I got up and in his face and said, ‘Don’t ever talk to me like that again. Not even my father talks like that to me’. He had said ‘boy’ or something like that, something that triggered me. I don’t know anything about him. I don’t know him from the next man. I know that he’s different so I got in the ring, looked him in the eye, and he took a step back and started yelling again. I slid out of the ring and said, ‘Let me talk to you outside’.
“Everyone is like, ‘Ohhhh’. I walked outside, he came out and we talked like men. I said, ‘Look, I know you’ve been here for a while. You’re a man, I’m a man too’. I asked him, ‘Do you think you were respectful? Even if you thought I wasn’t doing what I was supposed to be doing, do you think you respectfully asked me to do what you wanted me to do?’ He was like, ‘No man, you’re right’. I’m the type of person that will nip it in the bud right there.
“If I feel like you’re being disrespectful, I’m not going to continue to allow you to be disrespectful to me because I’ve shown you nothing but respect. We had an eye-to-eye and that was the last day Drake did that to me. I didn’t have an issue with him.
“It was one of those things where after it happened, I walked back to the locker room and everyone was like, ‘Good on you. That’s how you stand up for yourself. You weren’t doing anything wrong. You were doing what you were asked to do’. Sometimes, you have to check somebody because they’ll keep walking all over you and talk a certain way. That’s not how I operate.
“Right after it happened (Robbie) Brookside was there and he said, ‘Good on you’ and that was it. He saw the whole thing and he understood that there was no reason, especially in front of my co-workers and me being new, I don’t know if (Drake Wuertz) was trying to set the tone or… I don’t know what his thought process was, but I know what my thought process was. I’m going to respect everybody in the room and I feel like that should be returned.”
Nduka’s release reportedly came as a shock to people in WWE as he was thought to be a talented prospect. He took to Twitter following his WWE departure to assure fans that he’d be back.
Wuertz has already announced his first post-WWE appearance. The controversial referee will officiate under the name Drake Younger at a show next month.
Quote via Heel By Nature