Last year, Rhyno let his WWE contract expire and made his return to the independent scene. Soon after, he signed with Impact Wrestling. In a media session at Hard to Kill, he spoke in detail about why he wanted to leave WWE.
“Well, it wasn’t that I was unhappy with the way I was being used or whatever,” Rhyno said. “They offered me more double what I was already making as a guarantee, then when you’re on the road, you make more on merchandise and all that stuff. They treated me well, and everything was always great. I’ve seen the company grow from when I was there in the early 2000s to now and all the benefits the performers are getting now like instant care and more money. I’ve watched it change for the better.
“But it was one of those things where there was a lot of men and women there and they have to rotate the talent so that means a lot of talent are sitting at home more and that’s not what I want to do. As we all know, as talent, your days are limited. Your window closes. Eventually, that day will come. Hopefully, later than sooner, so I figured I would rather make less money and work more and be out in front of the fans to make memories for them and their children.”
Rhyno said that he wanted to help make memories for fans which is a reason why his look has not changed that much over his career.
“I’ve been doing this for 25 years, a lot of the times people come up to me [and say], ‘I used to watch you when I was a teenager. Now I’m bringing my teenager, and we’re watching it together.’ That’s why try not to change my look that much because no one wants to see their superhero get old,” Rhyno said. “Let’s face it, so that’s why I try not to change my look that much because I want them to see that same experience.”
Rhyno discussed signing with Impact Wrestling, noting that the promotion “just fit” for him.
“Signing with Impact, it just fit. Their direction, the talent they have in the locker room, whether it’s male or female, it’s just a great atmosphere in the locker room,” Rhyno said. “In a lot of companies that I’ve worked for I’ve always had a great atmosphere in the locker room. ECW was a little different. It just fit because I can work with guys like Michael Elgin, Moose and talented men, and we can get in there with women too.”
Rhyno also noted the comparisons between Impact and ECW in regards to the exposure, or lack thereof.
“It’s kind of like we’re not on the radar. That’s a nice thing because when you’re on the radar, you’re opened up for everybody to attack you, try to change your formula, ‘oh you can’t do this. Can’t do that.’ It’s just like, ‘alright let’s go out there and do what we do and do it to the best of our abilities.’ And we don’t have the outside influence. Usually, the outside influence they have no idea what wrestling is all about so that’s a cool thing,” Rhyno said. “We don’t have people going on that’s violence against women well, no women are competing with us in the ring. So if they’re competing, let them compete. If they get over on me, [then] they get over on me. They were the better talent. It’s really cool because we can kind of blaze a trail. Even though the trail has been blazed somewhat with ECW on the extreme stuff, but we’re blazing it in a different way.”
You can watch the press conference in the video above. If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.