Deonna Purrazzo was released from WWE last week during the company’s mass layoff of talent.
Purrazzo began working for the company full time in 2018, signing with WWE’s developmental brand, NXT, and wrestling in the second Mae Young Classic. She was knocked out in the quarterfinals, losing to Io Shirai, and has been used sporadically on NXT and RAW until her release last week.
Purrazzo spoke with Sportskeeda’s Gary Cassidy where she opened up about her release. While most people are upset when they’re let go from their job, Purrazzo said she wasn’t upset because she wanted to, and knew she would, be released soon.
“I wouldn’t say it was a sad thing because I kind of knew, in my heart, that I would get a call last week,” she said (h/t to Gary Cassidy for the quote transcription). “It’s not something that I didn’t expect because I was unhappy for the last six or so months with what I was doing in NXT – and I let office people know that.
“We had conversations where I said, if nothing is going to happen for me, I’d just rather be let go. I think, overall, I was really… I must have been afraid to ask straight up to be released but, once they fired me, it was kind of like, “Oh, this is what I wanted.” I was never scared of that. Exciting times is more what I’m looking forward to than being sad.”
WWE began their cutbacks with a massive public release of main roster talent and creative including Rusev and WWE Hall Of Famer Kurt Angle. The news of released NXT talent slowly came out in the days following the main roster releases. Purrazzo said she thinks it was weird WWE didn’t announce the full list of released developmental talent.
“I didn’t know if they were going to release NXT people, and when I had gotten the call, they hadn’t announced anyone from NXT yet – so I don’t know if I was the first or if I was the last – but I just thought, ‘Screw it, I’m going to announce it on my own and maybe get one step ahead of them on this, and it’s going to be on my terms.'” she said. “So, yeah, I don’t know. I don’t know if they will ever make a statement about it but there was a bunch of people released and I think, by process of elimination, everyone is kind of seeing who those people are but, yeah, it was kind of weird to not announce it.”
While there were rumors that the released talent wouldn’t be subjected to WWE’s standard 90-day non-compete, Purrazzo revealed talent would have said clauses but that the main roster and NXT’s were different lengths.
“So, the main roster got 90 days and NXT got 30 – so I have a 30-day non-compete,” she said. “Thirty days I’ll be paid for, so that gets me to the end of May and then I’m free to do whatever I want.”
Before joining WWE, Purrazzo had stints with Ring Of Honor, IMPACT Wrestling and World Wonder Ring Stardom, all destinations Purrazzo may work for again in the future.
Gary Cassidy contributed to this article.