Former Impact Wrestling Heavyweight Champion Eli Drake was recently on the X-Pac 1,2,360 podcast, and discussed his unfavorable time spent in WWE. Drake went into detail of why he was let go from the company while in NXT, and how he had a very difficult relationship with Bill DeMott, who was a lead trainer at the time.
"If I'm honest, at the core of it, it's me," said Drake. "I'm so not good at hiding my feelings, and Bill DeMott and I did not get along. What a surprise, everybody (chuckles)! This just in! Bill DeMott didn't get along with somebody. It was very strange, because he would come in some days and like, we'd be cool. Another day I'd come in, I'd be like, 'good morning, Bill.' He'd look at my hand and just walk away and not shake my hand. It's like, you're the head coach. Like, you're supposed to be the example. He'd say, 'ah, I'm working, I'm working.'"
Waltman wanted to clarify which meaning Drake meant by "working," and it was confirmed that Drake meant working him.
"It means he's working the boys," Drake explained. "And it was just a lot of BS, and then I'd hear [that] he said he hated me to a couple of people, and that's fine. We don't have to be best friends. But, I'd end up going in and talking to him, because I'm like, I'm not just gonna ignore that. And I was like, 'hey, we need to talk.' And he's like 'what's the problem?' I said, 'Well I'm hearing that you're telling people that you hate me, that's fine, we don't have to be best friends or anything, but if that's going to impede my progress, I shouldn't be here. I should move on.' And he's like, 'no no no, don't get caught up in all this high school BS, I'm just working when I'm saying that.' I'm like what do you mean? We're not in a situation where that makes sense. Like I remember exactly when that happened, we were just setting up a ring for a show in NXT."
Drake added that DeMott had asked somebody where they were setting up Gorilla during the NXT show, and Drake answered DeMott based on what he remembered last time, and then continued doing what he was doing. When Drake walked away, DeMott turned around and said, "I f'n hate that guy." "I'm like, okay cool, but why am I here if that's the case," Drake said. Drake also explained how Michael Cole had some suggestions for him to DeMott, but he responded to Cole while Drake was standing there, "well, he doesn't take directions very well."
Ultimately, for Drake, he explained that a lot of other talent can keep that inside, but he can't, "and, at the end of the day, that falls on me." Drake also dispelled rumors that he stormed in DeMott's room and tried to start a fight. However, he added that only he and DeMott were in the room before the rumor was spread, which indicated that DeMott was the one that spread it to Triple H. A day before he was fired, he was approached by Triple H, who repeated the story he was told to Drake, and told him that he needs to have more respect for the coaches.
If any portion of these quotes are used, please be sure to credit X-Pac 1,2,360 with an h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Sources: X-Pac 1,2,360