Former WWE star Ariya Daivari joined Insight With Chris Van Vliet to talk about, largely, his release from WWE earlier this year. Overall Daivari is keeping a positive attitude about it, being grateful he got the opportunity he did while looking towards the future.
“I tell a lot of people that I can take a nice breath of fresh air and say ‘I’ve done it,”‘ Daivari said. “That thing that used to keep me up at night as an indie wrestler. I just kept thinking over and over ‘what do I have to do to make it?’ But I did it, I made it. I wrestled on a pay per view, on NXT, on Monday Night RAW. I got to have conversations with Vince McMahon and Triple H, I did all these things. So I got to do all of these things I wanted to do, so a small part of me is like I can close that chapter and go to another part of my wrestling career. Luckily this is a great time because places like AEW, New Japan, IMPACT, all these places are popping up. I can say I know what it’s like to wrestle for Vince, now let’s see what it’s like in the other places.”
While he’s not bitter, Daivari also does believe there were some missed opportunities during his WWE run. In particular, he pointed to a tag team run that he felt was just taking off when WWE released him.
“Yeah, honestly right before we got released me and Tony Nese were doing a lot of tag stuff together,” Daivari said. “Me and him tagged on and off since the beginning of 205 Live. In the last 4 to 5 months of TV they were having us tag pretty regularly. They had us doing promos together. Everyone in the office, Shawn Michaels, Matt Bloom, they would all be telling us ‘you guys are killing it as a tag team, you’re doing a great job, you look good.’ We were having good matches and a lot of the boys said we looked good as a team.
“We thought that this was going to take us to the next level. We thought we were going to be a tag team on NXT. Me and him discussed talking to Vince and see if he would bring us to RAW or SmackDown. I was told that Vince or WWE in general isn’t big in the tag team division. That was the only hurdle we had to climb, to get them to pay attention to tag stuff. I really thought that was going to take us to the next level. But unfortunately we got released.”
Another thing Daivari isn’t thrilled about is the 90 day wait for him to get back out there and wrestle again. With so much going on in the wrestling world outside of WWE, Daivari is anxious to get back in the ring, work the best talent and show what he can do.
“I just want to wrestle, I want a busy schedule,” Daivari said. “That’s the only thing I want. Because right now I’m sitting at home with these 90 days. Not too long ago we were dealing with a pandemic, that s**t sucked. I did not like sitting at home. Obviously the pandemic was a little bit different because nobody could do anything. But right now the crowds are back and wrestling is super hot and I’m not doing anything, it’s driving me f*****g crazy. I just want to be a busy as possible, it doesn’t matter where it is. AEW, IMPACT, New Japan, back to the indies. I just want to wrestle the best guys possible and keep a very busy schedule. This is my life now. It is all I care about and all I want to do.”
While he’s looking forward to the future, Daivari hasn’t entirely put the WWE in his rear view mirror. He made it clear that he is open to a return down the road, should the opportunity present itself.
“I think so,” Daivari said of a potential return. “I have this 5 year plan in my head. I’m 32 now, if I don’t go back to WWE in 5 years then maybe that door is closed. I still feel young and I still feel good. You see so many guys like Drew McIntyre and Jinder, seeing them leave WWE, and they were at the bottom of the barrel when they left. To go out there and get in great shape, reinvent themselves and then come back and have the success that they have had, it’s awesome to see. Shelton Benjamin and The Hardy’s, all great guys but when they left I thought that was it because they have done everything that they can do. They are older now and probably won’t come back. Now they have come back and done extraordinary work. I don’t think the door to WWE is completely closed. It might be that right now they are reshuffling things and figuring things out.”
You can watch the full interview below.