Former WWE star Ariya Daivari recently sat down with Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman on The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Daivari spoke on his WWE career as well as his future plans after his release. Daivari also opened up about his relationship with Vince McMahon.
“I had a couple private meetings with him. I spoke to him after matches,” Daivari said. “You’re in Gorilla. You say, ‘Hey, thank you for the match and that kind of stuff,’ but I really only spoke to him when I had something important to tell him. There’s a few times where you say some things to a writer, and they might not take them to Vince.
“If there’s something you’re really passionate about, you take it to Vince, so when I was transitioning from, ‘I don’t want to do the Sheik character anymore, I want to do this Daivari Dinero thing’, that was something that I took straight to Vince. I went and knocked on his door, and had a meeting with him and said, ‘This is where I see my character going, and I think it would do better for the show.’ And he was all about it. I had a few more one-on-one meetings with him, but they were always pleasant. I never had a bad experience with Vince at all.”
Daivari primarily spent his time in WWE on the 205 Live brand. Hausman asked Daivari if there were ever talks to bring him to NXT.
“Yeah, not really,” Daivari stated. “Obviously, there was one draft in particular where a lot of the guys did get called up, like [Mustafa] Ali, and Drew [Gulak] and Humberto [Carrillo], and that was the one time where I really started pushing if I could get moved to SmackDown or RAW, but the nice thing was, because we were on main roster deals, we were still getting paid very well to be on 205 Live. So it wasn’t like, oh, if I get moved to RAW or Smackdown, then I’ll make exponentially more.
“You might in the long run if you have a big run or something, but I was still being taken care of very well on 205 Live, so I wasn’t upset about that, but I did think that all the tag work that me and Tony [Nese] had been doing during this pandemic, and how many people in the office were telling us how good of work we were doing and just seeing the feedback on Twitter, people saying how much they’re enjoying our tag matches, I thought this was going to be a time where we were finally going to parlay into either an NXT tag team or move on to RAW or SmackDown. Obviously, we got released before the crowds came back, but once the crowds started coming back and all that kind of stuff, I wanted to give a formal pitch to either Vince or Hunter (Triple H) about using me and Tony formally as a team.”
Daivari was cut in late June. He recalled what he was thinking during that time, and he revealed when he found out about his release.
“Obviously, this was the third wave of cuts,” Daivari noted. “I think it was in May when Samoa Joe, The IIconics and all them got released, and there’s the other guys like Braun, Buddy [Murphy] and Alesiter [Black] and then us. And then there’s obviously the COVID releases too in April of 2020. There was tons of rumors amongst the boys about, ‘Hey, they’re doing budget cuts. They’re doing this. They’re doing that,’ so I was bracing for it just a little bit because you never know, and especially Samoa Joe, The IIconics, Braun Strowman, when those guys got let go, I was kind of like, oh s**t, it could be anybody.
“Braun Strowman’s a pretty big deal to this company, and they let him go. Same with Samoa Joe, same with The IIconics, same with Tommy and they’re letting those guys go. I said at this point, it could be anyone so just brace yourself. Now on the flip side, I was a little bit surprised because me and Tony were wrestling every single week. There were some guys who got released who weren’t wrestling as much, or they weren’t on TV as much. We were working every single week. We were working really hard too. This pandemic era of wrestling, no one can deny it. It sucks having these little crowds.
“It’s not fun, and even though 205 wasn’t cared about too much by the office, me and Tony were going out there busting our asses every single opportunity we were given. We were still going really hard. On top of that, the office was telling us, ‘Hey, you guys are doing a great job,’ so that’s where the surprise came in a little bit. I was going, damn, I’m doing good work, consistent work. I’m booked every week. I figured I wouldn’t be one of the people, but I was on vacation. I was in Las Vegas on vacation, and Tony texted me and said, ‘Hey, I got released,’ and shortly after, I got a phone call as well too. I was at breakfast drinking mimosas, getting ready to go out to the pool, so I was like, well, let’s go get drunk.”
You can follow Ariya on Twitter @AriyaDaivari
Powered by RedCircle