Tay Conti reveals the story behind her "released" t-shirt, how WWE reacted [Exclusive]
- Tay Conti told us how WWE reacted to her "released" t-shirt and the story behind it.
- The former NXT Superstar also discussed her WWE run.
"Free agent" is a term that can be applied to many wrestlers right now following WWE's staff reductions last month, but only one person right now can claim to be the 'hottest free agent' - and that's Tay Conti!
Conti's departure sent waves across the wrestling world when her WWE release was confirmed, but it's something that had been a subject of much speculation months before when Tay, then known as Taynara in NXT, would seemingly respond to rumors of her release by wearing a very fitting t-shirt!
Conti also discussed her WWE release, where she would love to wrestle next, and her friendship with Nikki Cross, which the WWE Women's Tag Team Champion would respond to.
Our full interview with Tay Conti will be available very soon, but here's a short snippet for now.
Tay Conti told us how she would come to ask for her release and her request being declined, to begin with, stating that she was always asking for options to develop her character and try to progress her career.
"So, I didn't ask for my release right away, right? I was unhappy, so I was trying to find a way to be happy and to do my job well. To be, like, good for me and good for the company. I was talking to them, and I was asking, like, for options.
"Like, 'Hey, can you give me an opportunity to show this better? What should I change? Do I need to change anything?' I was giving them ideas and everything but then the feedback was always really good."
The Brazilian starlet would reveal how frustrating it was being told she didn't have to change anything, but then wouldn't be used on WWE TV.
"They said, "Don't change anything, we don't need you to change," but then they didn't use me, so I was getting so frustrated and I was like, 'Well, I don't want to work here if I'm not happy,' you know? I can't do a good job if I'm not happy. It's not good for me and it's not good for the company. I was just trying to find that balance."
Tay Conti's "released" t-shirt
Conti would go on to reveal how she and WWE would reach a compromise, which would see her take a short break before returning, with THAT t-shirt!
"Then, when we 'finally got it' - because it never happened - it was like, okay, we had a couple of conversations, so I took a couple of weeks away from wrestling to figure out everything in my mind because you need to be healthy.
I was just trying to get better and when we figured out everything and I was getting back to the live shows, the live events, and it was like, 'Well, since everyone is putting on social media that I got my release, why not? Let's try it. I'm going to get a T-shirt and I'm going to try to change, a little bit, my gimmick'."
Conti would reveal how her t-shirt had a full backstory and wasn't simply about taking aim at the rumors and speculations, revealing how she and WWE were actually on good terms by the time the rumors had emerged.
"That had a back story and everything for this. That was not just something like, 'Hey, let's mess it up, let's put a T-shirt, let's go there.' No. I put everything on paper. I was like, well... And plus, when everyone decided to put on social media that I got released, I was very okay with WWE. That's the funniest part. When everything went on social media, I was very good with them. We had our last conversations and we were good."
Conti further added that the idea was that she was being released from who she was in the past, as opposed to being released from her contract.
"It was like, 'Well, I don't know what you guys are talking about.' But then it was like, 'Yeah, let's try to do it.' The idea behind it was like, I'm getting released from who I was before. That was the idea. I was never able to show that but that was the idea. You know, like, 'Here are my handcuffs, and getting released from who I was in the past.' Now it's a new Taynara, or whatever."
The former NXT Superstar revealed how WWE "didn't really like" the character change, and that they probably didn't like the t-shirt because she was unable to use it again.
"That was the idea. But it didn't work out. They didn't really like it. I don't know how they took the release T-shirt, probably not well because I was not able to use it again. But yeah."
While wearing her "Released" shirt, Conti would perform at an NXT event alongside MJ Jenkins - another former Superstar whom we interviewed recently, which you can check out here.
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