NWA Tag Team Champion Eli Drake recently spoke with Andrew Pollard of WhatCulture and revealed that WWE has offered him a contract three times since 2016.
Drake was signed to a WWE NXT developmental deal in mid-2013 but was later released on August 1, 2014. He revealed that since then he’s had three offers from WWE over the past few years and he’s turned them down each time.
“They made an offer to me in 2016, 2017, and 2018. In 2016, I didn’t take it because Impact was giving me a big raise,” Drake revealed. “I’d never seen money like they were giving me, and the money that WWE were offering me was very low. It was not great, so I was like, ‘Well, okay, I’ll take a year at this [Impact] money.’ I checked them out a year later, and it was the same offer and I had a raise with Impact again.”
He continued, “So 2018, they came to me one more time, exact same offer. In my head, I thought, ‘You know what, screw it. I’ll take the cut, I’ll take the bet on myself that it’s going to quickly go up.’ Just personal things happened in my life that caused me to stay where I was and not move across the country. I ended up staying here. I wasn’t hurting for money, I was making good money in Impact, so if I stayed for another year it wasn’t a big deal. But professionally, it was just a bad idea.”
Drake was asked if he still has a WWE itch to scratch. He previously left the company in 2014 after butting heads with then-Coach Bill DeMott, and he sees both potential pros & cons in a potential return.
“The idea of just going to the PC and making whatever money, it would’ve been a big lifestyle change, for one,” Drake said. “But at the same time, I also recognise the system’s so different to when I was there before. When I was there before, I had no advocates, I had nobody on my side. Now, I’ve got so many people on the inside, working there, who would probably vouch for me, push for me to move forward. Whereas before, I just had that big roadblock of Bill DeMott.”
Drake reiterated that he’s happy with the NWA right now, adding, “Would I like to be on that huge stage of WrestleMania? Yeah, probably. But I just also talk to some of the guys who are there, I look at the way the climate is, and I just don’t know.”
Drake was released from Impact Wrestling in June 2019 after some behind-the-scenes issues with the company. He signed with the NWA in the summer of 2019 and then teamed with James Storm to capture the NWA Tag Team Titles at Hard Times in January of this year. Drake revealed that he just signed another new one-year contract with the promotion.
“My current deal, I started it the end of June last year. It was a one-year deal, but we recently just signed a new one. I’ll be there for at least the next year,” Drake revealed.
Drake also revealed that he was close to signing with AEW last year, so close that he had made a decision on his entrance music for the company. He noted that he had two separate deals ready to be signed, but the deal fell through.
“When I left Impact, there was [interest from AEW],” Drake revealed. “As a matter of fact, breaking news, I had two separate deals ready to go with them, ready to be signed. To the point where I had even sent them my entrance music. We were about to be ‘go’. Then some things just fell through, and it didn’t end up happening. They sent me one deal, we renegotiated, they sent me another. They were just waiting on my signature.”