Anya Zova Talks Being Fired From WWE Developmental While Injured

WWE's developmental system went through some major changes in 2012 when FCW transitioned into "NXT." The rebranding brought about a number of changes such as new titles, a move from Tampa to Orlando, and the grand opening of the WWE Performance Center


However, with all the adjustments being made, the exciting developments also came with roster cuts. Unfortunately, Anya Zova was among those that were cut. Now, she's discussing her release, which happened while she was recovering from an injury.

In an interview with "Developmentally Speaking," the actress and comedian from Russia revealed that this experience was the first time she was ever fired from a job. While she was motivated to never work for anyone but herself again afterward, Zova was still confused by the decision since she was already in the process of breaking her lease, uprooting her life, and hunting for a new apartment in Orlando along with the rest of the NXT roster. 

But none of that stopped her from getting the dreaded call from former Vice President of Talent Development Canyon Ceman, who released her.


The Fine Print

Anya Zova felt that she was safe during this transitional period because she didn't drink, do drugs, or sleep around, and had been a lifelong athlete who worked hard. Since she sustained a broken arm during her time there, she was under the impression that talent would not be released during injuries. 


However, that wasn't the case for the star who has since appeared in shows such as "Brooklyn 99" and "MacGyver."

"I think I was the first one who got released while being injured," she said. "They knew because [the doctors] put a plate in my arm. With a plate, it's kind of dangerous to wrestle because it was going from the elbow all the way up. The skin is very thin, so anything could happen. They knew that I might need additional surgery later on and that's exactly what happened. A year after, I had a second surgery to take it out, so they knew it was going to be ... at least a year and a half recovery, so it makes sense financially."

The most important lesson that Zova took away from this experience was to always read a contract before signing it. She was already at a disadvantage because she barely spoke English at the time and the language was fairly complex even for a native speaker, but the lesson was learned nonetheless. 


Now she's thriving in the comedy scene and occasionally performs alongside other performers with a background in wrestling such as AEW's Ryan Nemeth and WWE's Dolph Ziggler.