The departure of Neville from WWE programming has been a big topic this month. He was pushed strongly as the main heel in the cruiserweight division all year, had two Cruiserweight Title reigns, dropped the title to Enzo Amore and now he’s gone without any explanation. The belief is that Neville was frustrated that WWE only saw him as as a cruiserweight talent, but Neville has yet to comment on it publicly.
A few weeks ago, we heard from Chris Jericho saying that he thought Neville could be a huge star outside of WWE. Another name that was asked about Neville is WWE Hall of Famer “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, who also famously walked out of WWE in 2002.
Austin was asked by Ring Rust Radio about when he walked out of WWE in 2002 when he was told to put over Brock Lesnar on Raw without any build up to the match. They sent these comments.
“Well, my situation when I walked out, I wasn’t on board with the direction creative wanted to go. I was working my ass off and I just was not happy with that decision.”
A lot of people agreed with Stone Cold for walking out at the time, because a match like Austin vs. Lesnar should have been built up to be a bigger deal than simply throwing it out there on Raw. That’s a subject that Austin has talked about for 15 years in countless DVDs and his podcast so I’m sure if you’re any kind of WWE fan you have heard him mention it.
In speaking about present day WWE, Austin offered his opinion on Neville leaving the company due to his frustrations with the company.
“I can respect the guy that has enough balls to walk away just because he had a gut feeling like I did. I just wish him all the best in the world. In my opinion, he is an outstanding talent, he was really coming around with his gimmick and character, and he was a guy that I really liked watching. I’m sure a lot of people in the WWE Universe fell the same way. Hopefully he gets past this and whether he goes back to WWE or goes somewhere else, I hope he continues to have a successful career and have fun. At the end of the day, pro-wrestling, to be able to get paid to do that, it’s a fun job but it is a business and you need to get paid accordingly. I want the kid to have a great career, make his money and go on to the next phase of his life when it’s time to do that.”
Austin added that he didn’t know what Neville’s deal was in terms of contract or what the circumstances may have been for him leaving WWE.
It’s an unfortunate situation that Neville is gone from WWE, but like Austin and Jericho have said, it’s about having fun as well as doing what’s best for you. We all hope Neville has a great career wherever he heads to next.