Taynara Conti revealed in new comments to Gary Kassidy of Sports Keeda that she actually requested her release from WWE a couple of months before she was cut. This is why she was surprised when she was released last month as part of the company's budget cuts stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Well, yes, it was a shock for me because I asked for my release, like, a couple of months before," Conti revealed.
"I wasn't happy [in WWE] and we were trying to figure out something, right? And then I was not able to get my release, so we were okay after then, I gave myself one more chance to try because I had no option, right? Because I had a contract - but, yes, everything was good. I was having matches and everything was fine so, yeah, I didn't expect to be released. They called me and they were like, "Yeah, you're released". So I was upset, of course, at first. I had to give myself, like, a couple of days to understand and to put everything in the right place but, yeah, that was sad, to be honest."
Conti, an NXT talent, had limited opportunities in WWE. She was used on television and got to compete at WrestleMania 34, but mostly had short matches with the goal of putting others over. So in her eyes, her career in WWE, which began in 2016, worked out.
"For me, it worked out. I didn't have much chances to show you guys all I can do, so the minimum chance I had, I was doing everything that I was able to do there because all I had pretty much was, like, a four-minute match, three-minute match to put somebody else over, so my job was to make people look good. And I need to do my job. I'm professional. If they say, "You need to make her look good," I need to do it, but then I think, in a couple of moments, I was able to find pieces in the match, moments that I was able to show a little bit of what I can do, who I am and my personality, my abilities. Not so much because, of course, that was not the time for me to do it."
In February, it was reported Conti refused to work the Women's Battle Royal main event on the January 15 NXT episode on the USA Network, which saw Bianca Belair win to earn the "Takeover: Portland" title shot from NXT Women's Champion Rhea Ripley. She returned at an NXT live event on February 16, 2020, wearing a t-shirt that read 'Released.'
"I was unhappy, so I was trying to find a way to be happy and to do my job well," Conti explained. "To be, like, good for me and good for the company. I was talking to them, and I was asking, like, for options. Like, "Hey, can you give me an opportunity to show this better? What should I change? Do I need to change anything?" I was giving them ideas and everything but then the feedback was always really good. They said, "Don't change anything, we don't need you to change," but then they didn't use me, so I was getting so frustrated and I was like, "Well, I don't want to work here if I'm not happy," you know?"
Conti explained the idea from the 'Released' t-shirt was that since it was all over social media that she was released from the company, she would be getting released from who she was before.
"The idea behind it was like, I'm getting released from who I was before. That was the idea. I was never able to show that, but that was the idea. You know, like, "Here is my handcuffs, and getting released from who I was in the past." Now it's a new Taynara, or whatever. That was the idea. But it didn't work out. They didn't really like it. I don't know how they took the release T-shirt, probably not well because I was not able to use it again. But yeah."
You can check out Sports Keeda's complete interview with Conti where she talks about what's next for her at this link.