Earlier this week, SmackDown Superstar Christian alerted World Wrestling Entertainment that he was leaving the company. In an interview with WWE.com conducted Wednesday evening, the former Intercontinental Champion revealed that his decision to walk away from WWE was one that he struggled with for some time.
WWE.com: What lead to your decision to leave World Wrestling Entertainment?
Christian: My contract came up on Oct. 31 and we negotiated back and forth a little bit. But it wasn’t about the money for me, really. There were some other things that were going on that helped sway my decision. It wasn’t a contract dispute, if that’s what you want to call it. It was a number of different things – I’ve been on the road with WWE for eight years straight, and it takes a toll on your body when you’re going 250-300 days a year.
So part of it was that, and obviously there was some frustration and a lot of other reasons that factored in. But I wasn’t bitter at all. There’s no hostility. There’s just some times when you need a change and you need to do different things. It was something that I felt was necessary for myself at this time.
Plus, I have some other interests going on outside the business that I’m really looking forward to. I’m not saying I’m giving up wrestling, but there are some other things that are very appealing to me. I had a great eight-year run with WWE. A lot of guys would dream of having a run that long. So I thank God that I got to live my dream for that long. When it came down to it, not a lot of guys get to leave on their own terms, and it was something that I felt strongly that I wanted to do?
WWE.com: You said your contract expired on Oct. 31, but you still appeared at Taboo Tuesday on Nov. 1. Why did you show up after your contract expired?
Christian: It wasn’t even an issue. I was in the voting for Taboo Tuesday, so I wouldn’t have dreamed of not fulfilling that commitment. I didn’t want to let anybody that was counting on me down, whether it was the people with WWE or the fans. So there were no second thoughts. I was going to be at Taboo Tuesday regardless.
WWE.com: When did you finally come to the realization that you were going to leave WWE?
Christian: It was something that was weighing on my mind for months. I knew that it was a decision that could not be taken lightly because it’s a life-changing decision. So I was on the fence about it. Then right about the time I pulled up to the arena Sunday in Los Angeles, I realized that was it. It was a hard decision.
WWE.com: What was it like having to say goodbye to the people in WWE that you traveled with for eight years?
Christian: Saying goodbye was the hardest part. It all came about pretty quickly. I hadn’t told anybody how I was feeling or thinking, so it came as a shock for a lot of people. It was difficult because you spend a lot of time with them. You spend more time with them than you do your own family. They actually become your family. So it was hard to say goodbye. It was especially hard saying goodbye to the WWE fans because they are so loyal. I’m going to miss them, as well.
WWE.com: What was it like this week at RAW and Taboo Tuesday knowing you were leaving shortly?
Christian: I didn’t really think like that when I went out there. It was one of those things where it didn’t really hit me until I left the arena in San Diego. After SmackDown, I went to RAW. And after RAW, I went to Taboo Tuesday, so I was still going to work like I normally would. It really didn’t hit me until I left Taboo Tuesday. When I was pulling out of the parking lot, looking in the rearview mirror, I thought it was kind of an end of an era. It’s over.
WWE.com: Are you still going to be a wrestling fan? Are you still going to watch SmackDown?
Christian: Of course. I’ll always be a wrestling fan. I’m not saying I’m giving up wrestling altogether. This is just something that I felt I had to do to mentally get myself back into the place of where I want to be as far as competing and going out there and performing.
WWE.com: Do you think you’ll ever be back in front of a WWE audience again?
Christian: Never say never in this business. WWE was great to me. I felt like I gave the company everything I had. And they allowed me to live my dream, which was wrestle in WWE. So never say never.
WWE.com: What are you going to miss most about WWE?
Christian: Performing. We all get into wrestling to go out and perform for our fans. I’ll miss that feeling that you get right before you step through that curtain and you hear that live audience. There’s no feeling like it anywhere in the world.
WWE.com: Do you have any favorite memories of WWE that you are going to take with you?
Christian: I’m going to take all the memories I made with me, every last one of them. I wouldn’t give any of it back. There’s too many great memories to narrow down to just one. Leaving on my own terms is something I wanted to do. It’ll help me look back fondly and say “hey, that was a great time in my life. I lived my dream and I was able to accomplish my goals. And there’s no hard feelings whatsoever.”
WWE.com: Is there anything you would like to say to the Peeps reading this right now on WWE.com?
Christian: I’m going to miss them all. Hopefully, they will see me again someday.