Bruce Prichard was recently back on his Something To Wrestle With show and recalled Christian leaving WWE to pursue better opportunities in 2005. Christian made his TNA debut in November 2005 and was heavily featured in the world title picture in his time with the company. Prichard would recall that he was the one that originally signed Christian to a WWE contract and knew he felt underutilized. He said he wasn't totally shocked by his WWE exit, but was more disappointed that he felt the need to leave to get more recognition.
"Not shocked, but disappointed more than anything," Prichard recalled. "I originally was the one that had signed Christian, and I thought that he was a hell of a talent. I enjoyed working with him a great deal. So, it wasn't shocking because I knew that he felt a little underutilized and that he felt he needed to go somewhere else to maybe get noticed if you will, but disappointed is more the word."
Prichard then went on to say that WWE had been trying to work with Christian on a new deal for quite a while before he left for TNA, but said Christian had made his mind up that it was time to move on. He cited frustration over creativity and not being taken more seriously as a performer as the main reasons he was ready to step away from WWE.
"It wasn't something that all of a sudden came up and was offered on the spot. It was something that had been offered and [Christian] didn't want to sign. [Christian] wanted to move on, and then I think there was kind of a final look, 'Are you going to sign or not?' And he was not interested in resigning. So you move on, but it wasn't all of a sudden, 'Oh my God! [Christian's] contract is coming up! Oh s--t! Hey, sign this now!' No, it was a several month deal of, 'Look, what are you going to do?' And it was kind of a last-ditch effort to say, 'If you're definitely not going to sign with us, please let us know'.
"I think it was just frustration on his part, and the ability to display what he wanted to do on his own and be featured," Prichard added. "So let's move on; let's move to some place else and do that to display what he wanted to do. Sometimes, that satisfaction is worth more than any amount of money or anything else, and [Christian's] a performer. He wanted to perform."
Prichard then recalled Ken Kennedy receiving a major push in WWE during this period, and said even if that push was given to Christian, he doesn't think he would have stayed. He was steadfast on leaving for a new opportunity.
"I think that he was searching for a new coat of paint somewhere in just different pastures," Prichard said.
Christian would leave TNA in 2008 but did make an appearance with the company in 2012 when he revealed the number one moment in TNA as voted on by fans. This was part of a structured deal between TNA and WWE, which would allow Ric Flair to be featured on their programming to induct Flair into the Hall Of Fame as a member of The Four Horsemen.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Something To Wrestle With and give a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Mehdy Labriny contributed to this article.