Justin Barrasso’s latest “The Week in Wrestling” column for SI.com, posted today (Oct. 17) covered a lot more than just Nia Jax’s status with WWE. It also went in-depth on the situation surrounding Neville’s exit from the company.
According to Barrasso’s report, the former NXT and Cruiserweight champion has been unhappy for months - dating back to January, shortly after he debuted with his “King of the Cruiserweights” gimmick and became the centerpiece of 205 Live. Like Jax, Neville’s frustrations stem from a combination of financial and creative issues, per SI.
Having his title match with Austin Aries moved to the WrestleMania 33 Kickoff and taken off the home video release was the perfect storm of both. It cost Neville and Aries royalties on one of the company’s most popular DVDs of the year, and “infuriated” the Brit that WWE “would disregard his service and value” after he’d wrestled for them “hurt, tired, and with minimal complaint”.
Learning about how A-Double’s business was going after he negotiated his release back in July, also reportedly motivated Neville to make a move:
Upcoming 6 weeks of "bingo hall" $ >> Last 4 months of "big league" $. Awesome to see the #prowrestling scene thriving around the .— Austin Healy Aries (@AustinAries) October 14, 2017
Neville is said to believe he can quickly move from a high-level enhancement talent (being recently tasked with putting over Enzo Amore also is cited as a factor behind his decision) for The ‘E to a big money (and respect) position in Ring of Honor and New Japan.
But that will depend on the boss, and we aren’t talking Sasha Banks.
SI says that Vince McMahon was not happy with Neville, as “walking out of his company is the kiss of death”. Barrasso doesn’t specifically say how long Neville is under contract for, but makes it clear Vince could keep him tied up until it does or possibly even go after him for breach of contract.
All of which explains why there’s been no word for a week-and-a-half on The Jumpin’ Geordie’s status. Negotiations may be ongoing, or McMahon could be content to pay Neville to sit home.
We’ll see what happens next... or wait for the next report to see if it corroborates or contradicts this one.