Source: Rolling Stone
If he was surprised by the release:
"Not really. I had some conversations with them before, where I had said that I think, as a character, we had gone through the gamut. What more could I do with that character? Some people say, "This company should have done this, or that." No, the company gave me a platform, and I maximized my opportunity. That's all I can ask for. In maximizing it to the point that I did, as a character, sometimes all you can do is get a new coat of paint. As a television show, the WWE, they have so many talented performers there. There is so much talent in the WWE. I have no problem with them needing time to let the other guys show their craft. I am not selfish in that respect. When I was on TV, they knew they'd get a reaction. When you look at it, if you know you can plug me in any spot, and you don't have to invest the TV time, then it makes sense to give TV time to guys who need to build their reactions. Just look back at the Royal Rumble in January, when I was on the preshow. I was in the ring for the first time in months, and fans were chanting my name, when I was just standing on the apron. That, to me, means more than any title I could have won in WWE. That means the world to me."
If he was given a reason:
"No, not really, and they didn't need to. Parting ways is never a pleasant thing. It's funny, because we took some test one time, and my empathy was measured on some ridiculous level. When I was being called, I was thinking about the other guy – the guy who has to give a guy this news. I was just more like, "Oh, cool. Thank you for everything. It was awesome." It was somewhat mutual. I had expressed to them that maybe, if they didn't have anything for me, then yeah, there are other guys who need a chance. I had already run that spectrum with the fans. A lot of times, in pro sports, you have egos involved. My ego was solely about getting the fans to react one way or another."
Wanting to be a commentator:
"Not so much my release, but all the options. I had asked about being a commentator if they weren't going to have me on as a wrestler. There were many different options I was exploring. It wasn't a doom or gloom situation. I just wanted to look into every route that was possible."
His future in full-time wrestling:
"When you say full-time, full-time in the WWE is very different than full-time elsewhere. I am not going to rule out anything. I don't want to limit myself. It's not like when I finish up my "Thank You Tour," I'm going to be burning my boots. It is an aspect of performance, and if I can use whatever avenue to perform. If the fans want it, and they're digging it, if it coincides with whatever project I decide to take, then I'm open to anything. It's a very exciting time, and I'm not opposed to performing in a wrestling ring. You never know."
Be sure to check out the full, excellent interview at this link.