Paul Wight was on the latest episode of the Talk Is Jericho podcast discussing his move to AEW with Chris Jericho. Wight revealed who he spoke with before leaving WWE and what Vince McMahon said to him after the announcement of his AEW signing.
“Vince and I didn’t talk. I dealt with Mark Carano, and we went back and forth a little bit,” Wight said. “I wanted to leave and money was was okay. The years was a little light. It felt more like they weren’t looking me as a talent they want to invest in again. They looked at it as someone who’s disposable. When they offer you a year, you’re not investing too much in me because a year goes by pretty quick. The writing’s on the wall.
“They’re moving on. So when I came over here to AEW, and we finally made the announcement, Vince called me. That was the first time I’d spoken to him in six months because at the TVs that I went to before, he was unavailable, or he wasn’t there, and I really just didn’t get a chance to sit down and talk to him. I knew the writing changed for me and Vince in our relationship.
“For years, I was always ‘Show’. In the last year, it’s been ‘Paul’. So that’s a subtle thing in his mind where he’s already shipping me off to Shady Pines. Paul’s just a the guy. Paul is his friend. There’s no animosity. There’s no heat there at all. He called me, and he said congratulations. He said you’re going to do fantastic over there. You’re really going to help their company. It was a very classy classy move.”
Jericho pointed out that Wight and McMahon have a long relationship so it would make sense that McMahon would share those kind words. Wight agreed and talked about spending time with McMahon and seeing the prankster side of him.
“We do have a long relationship, and I think that’s one of the things that hurts a lot because I’ve been through so many things with them,” Wight noted. “My first media training when I first went to WWE, I was in a limo with Vince in New York doing radio stations with him. He was on my media day. I learned about so many things, and that knowledge that you get from him, if you spend any time around him, the dude is brilliant, and we’ve had a lot of good times, all the trips to Iraq and Afghanistan.
“It was always good seeing him in that environment because that alone time with Vince, you got to see Vince the guy not the Chairman of the Board and all that other horses**t that he has to do. Vince will step on your shoe and say, ‘flat tire.’ I mean, what are we, in eighth grade? He’ll short-sheet my bed. I go to get my bed and my bunk in Iraq, and the bed’s short-sheeted. One night, he turned the heater on in my room because I hate being hot.
“We’re gone all day. We come back that night. I walk into my room, and it’s hot in the desert, and I’m ready for this ice cold room, and it’s 100 degrees and he walks by. ‘Something wrong with your heater pal?’ Come on man. We’ve been going 15 hours man. We’ve had five helicopter rides. We’ve met over 7,000 troops today. I just wanted my room to be cold, and he just loves that stuff.”
Wight revealed another story while on the plane. He revealed what McMahon did to his air mattress and what he said after.
“I was talking about the time we flew over on the C-17, and I had bought a mattress from Dick’s Sporting Goods,” Wight recalled. “I was going to put a place back there to sleep on the floor of the plane. I’ll blow up my air mattress. I’ll be comfortable because I don’t fit in the little chairs or anything like that. I get to sleep about an hour just start to get real comfortable. The sleeping bags over you. You’re good. All of a sudden, [Wight makes an air deflating noise]. I look up. ‘Something happen to your mattress pal?’ He’s such a bully, just a frat house bully.”
Wight continued and noted that he never saw McMahon sleep during those long flights. Jericho then shared a story of taking a picture of McMahon sleeping and recalled McMahon’s response to the picture.
“I stayed up on one of those flights one time as long as he did. We were together,” Wight stated. “That entire trip, he never closed his eyes. He worked the whole time. He won’t sleep.
“He hates it when people see him sleeping,” Jericho revealed. “I took a picture of him sleeping on one of those trips, and I showed it to him. And I said, ‘You actually do sleep.’ He didn’t laugh. He didn’t smile. He said, ‘Delete that now,’ and I was like, ‘Okay, you’re crazy man.’ He didn’t find it funny.”
If you use any quotes from this article, please credit Talk Is Jericho with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.