After making some appearances as enhancement talent for WWE, Deonna Purrazzo was chosen to perform at All In in 2018. However, shortly after being listed on the card, WWE made her a contract offer and she joined NXT instead of performing at All In.
But Purrazzo wasn't used much by WWE during her two years in NXT. She was asked if WWE signed her just because she was announced for All In when she joined The Wrestling Inc Daily podcast.
"Yes, and I probably said that to some of the wrong people in NXT," admitted Purrazzo. But I 100 percent feel like me being announced for All Inů this culminated in, 'she's gonna go somewhere else and do something good with other people' so we're gonna bring her here. If they had done something with me, then that would have been fine. But I feel that in the last year or two with AEW, [WWE] tended to be hoarding. Talent wasn't being released but so much talent was being brought in that I suffered from so many women coming in and then we're all from the same background.
In addition to NXT bringing in lots of female talent all at one, Purrazzo says the creative ideas she pitched weren't received favorably or even at all.
"It just fell on deaf ears because the attention wasn't for me to be a Superstar. It was just maybe to take me off the table," stated Purrazzo.
She then talked about the culture at NXT and if other talents had similar frustrations to what she had.
"I really felt the culture was 'you should be grateful for what you have and don't ask for more.' Maybe before I got to NXT there was a procedure where you came in, you learned, you waited and then maybe a year or two you'd be put on TV," said Purrazzo. "But when I started, there was women that came from the indies and were successful so it's like, I'm not gonna sit around and wait. I'm not gonna twiddle my thumbs and be happy I have a job at NXT. I'm gonna push the boundaries and push you to do more with me.
"I know I felt that way and there's a ton of people who felt that way. Ultimately, when all of these releases happened it was the people voicing frustration and maybe the idea that they didn't wanna be here anymore if nothing was gonna happen. Maybe being released was the best option and I think that was the case with a lot of people that ended up being released."
With Purrazzo pulling out of All In to sign with WWE, she was asked if that decision could potentially affect any negotiations with AEW.
"I don't know. I feel like there was probably some, 'Oh, that sucks' because I commit to doing All In and I actually tried to push my WWE signing date back so I could still do All In. But WWE wasn't having it," stated Purrazzo. "I have to pick and choose those battles but I don't if it's affected anyone negatively. That's not anything I've heard or has stopped me from being friendly with people that work for AEW."
Purrazzo said she would apologize if need be, and looking back, she regrets the decision considering how her time in WWE played out.
"It sucks because I thought [WWE] was my dream come true but it just happened to not be. So, it's gonna be interesting to see these negotiations and see where I land," said Purrazzo.
Normally, other promotions would be eager to scoop up some of the recently released WWE talent. But we're in the middle of a pandemic and Purrazzo was asked if there is a buyer's market for wrestlers at the moment.
"Yeah, I think a lot of us have sparked interest in other companies. I think I've kinda put more of a target on my back by being like, 'I wanna prove WWE wrong.' So now it's my job to get out there and see what opportunities there are," stated Purrazzo. "I'm really excited for this non-compete clause to be up for me in the next week or so and get back into wrestling for maybe one of these other companies still running shows without crowds."
You can follow Deonna Purrazzo on Twitter @DeonnaPurrazzo. Deonna's full interview with Wrestling Inc aired as part of a recent episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it's released Monday - Friday afternoon by clicking here.