Former WWE NXT Associate Producer Ryan Katz says he was blindsided by his release from the company. Katz was caught up in a sweeping overhaul of the backstage staff for NXT at the beginning of the year.

“I got a phone call that came during a time where I had a discussion with one of my bosses that seemed to go pretty well and then he went to go take a call and I went on with my day,” Katz recalled on the Handsome Genius Club Radio Show. “And then the going on with my day turned into getting a call from someone else with, ‘I just lost my job’. It came out of nowhere.

“Now through all that, that’s life and things happen, and we move on,” Katz continued. “I got to have eight and a half years of incredible education, entertainment, world travels, coaching, mentorship, got to work with some of the greatest people from all over the world and all walks of life that even in a situation of getting bad news where you feel like your hearts being ripped out, so to speak, and your dream is coming to an end, I’ve still yet to have any feelings of anger, resentment, sadness, frustration.”

Ryan Katz’s tenure with WWE dated back to 2015. In fact, he was the first full-time employee at the WWE Performance Center.

“I kind of went down there before the building was open to the public,” Katz said. “Kind of got to be involved with overseeing the final steps and then they moved everyone up from Tampa a month later and we got things underway and we go to sit under the learning tree and tutelage of Dusty Rhodes, and have, at that point, two years of the Dream. Kid in a candy shop, little boy’s dream come true. Getting to be around and be supported by, you know, some of the biggest superstars in the world who I’ve been watching forever.”

Ryan Katz wishes he could’ve spent more time working alongside Dusty Rhodes at the PC. Rhodes passed away in 2015.

“He would be like {impersonating Dusty}, ‘Ryan Katz, I’m not your boss. I’m your coworker. And you know what? I’m not even just your coworker. I’m your friend’,” Katz recalled. “And it was just, it was just awesome stuff.”

Ryan Katz says he bonded with Dusty Rhodes over their common interest in skiing. Katz says Rhodes’ death hit him hard.

“I wish it could’ve been longer,” Katz said. “But the craziest thing is to know that after only having two years with the guy, when he did pass, I had never experienced losing someone in my life like that. And like through relatives and grandparents that, you know, I hadn’t necessarily been super tight with in my life. Like no death has really done that, and it broke me a little bit. It was, it was crazy. Like, that was my Yoda and it was wild, and he believed in me and supported me.”

If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit the Handsome Genius Club Radio Show with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.

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