Former WWE NXT star Bronson Reed, also known as Jonah Rock, joined Insight with Chris Van Vliet to talk about his release from WWE in early August. As he’s done in the past, Reed described how surprising the release was and how hard he took it.
“Well it was very shocking at first,” Reed said. “I would be lying if I would say I wasn’t upset and angry, and all the emotions that come with something like this. It’s like the 7 stages of grief. Even though I didn’t physically lose anyone, it was kind of like Bronson Reed had died. I’d spent the last few years investing in myself and becoming that character of Bronson Reed. But now that’s over and I have to look to something new. I am bringing back a little bit of what I did before WWE and becoming JONAH again, but it was hard. I have been able to deal with it pretty well though. I’ve had hardships in life and in the professional wrestling business before that have sort of prepared me for if this day was to come. I just didn’t think it would be any time soon.”
What made the release all the more shocking was that Reed had recently made a commitment to stay with WWE past his original deal. He told Van Vliet he had signed an extension with WWE only months before he was released.
“I started at the start of 2019 on a 3-year deal. Only at the start of this year, I signed a new 3-year deal,” Reed revealed. “I was blindsided that halfway through the year that I was released. Also with where I was placed in the card and how I was utilized, I didn’t think it was coming.”
Reed got the fall for his release, oddly enough, while watching that week’s episode of Smackdown. He detailed how he expected to be called up to the main roster and how all that combined to leave him more angry with WWE’s decision than upset.
“I got the call while I was watching SmackDown,” Reed said. “I was under the impression the last few months with WWE, I would be moving to a SmackDown or a RAW. When I got the call, I assumed it was about going to RAW or going to SmackDown. I was quite happy on the phone and ready to hear that news. When the call was that I was getting released, that mood completely changed. I was in shock and awe. I made sure to question why, and they didn’t really give me a reason at all, which is even more frustrating because then you question yourself. Like, ‘what happened?’ I think shock was the initial reaction, but then I was more angry than upset. There was a lot more that I could have done, but that got taken away. But now I see that it is an avenue for me to do that somewhere else.”
As expected, Reed was asked about his next move and what promotions he could be seen in next. Similar to past interviews, he revealed nothing had been signed yet, but that he’s talking to several promotions that fans know.
“I am in talks with the major promotions that you would expect me to be in talks with,” Reed said. “Nothing is set in stone yet, but there will be soon.”
Part of the reason Reed hasn’t been more of a fixture since his release is due to immigration issues that have prevented him from working. He continued to stress to fans that he’s working on getting those issues resolved, and how many fans don’t realize how big of a hardship this is for foreign talent.
“That’s a big thing that unless you are from a foreign country, you don’t realize,” Reed said. “A lot of people who were released the same time as me, after the 30 days, straight away onto some independent shows. I have a lot of fans reaching out and saying, ‘you should do this show.’ I’ve also had a lot of independent promotions reach out to me, but legally, I will get in a lot of trouble if I do this. There are processes you have to do when you are a foreigner, and I am working on that.”
You can watch the full interview below.