The former Bronson Reed speaks out about his WWE release and how it never entered his mind that he’d be getting cut.
Bronson Reed was released by WWE last month, and one week after he premiered his new Jonahdrome podcast, the former NXT North American Champion went into detail about being cut by the company, what he was told and much more. Now being billed as “Jonah,” he said that his 30-day non-compete has expired and talked about the reaction to being let go.
“It has been over the 30 days. I had a 30-day no-compete, that’s what happens to the NXT contracted talent from WWE, when they are released. I do not plan to stop my momentum at any time, but that being said, I think I was maybe, this is not discrediting any of the people because they are all great talent. I think I might have been the biggest shock of the bunch, you know. I was utilized so well in NXT and I was really loved and cared for by Hunter and Shawn Michaels so it was a very big shock to me when I was released. So moving a bit back in time, the couple of months leading to my release, I was obviously the North American Champion, so I was very blessed to become the North American Champion. So from there, I thought I was a made man. From speaking to Hunter after that match, I shook his hand, hugged him, and he said to me Bronson, you are money. And going forward from there, I just thought I was a made man and everything moved so quickly. I was the champion for a few weeks and then I didn’t know what was gonna happen. I got put into some different storylines. It seemed to me, from creative that I was gonna be North American champion for a long time, at least until the end of this year.”
Jonah says he was under the impression he would be called up and was asked to work a dark match at SmackDown, and thought the match (against Robert Roode) went well, aside from being told to smile more.
“Then things all of a sudden changed. So I got asked to come and do a dark match for Vince McMahon at SmackDown, myself and Karrion Kross. All the rumblings and talk backstage was ‘they’re gonna call you up, Bronson at the time, they were gonna call Bronson Reed up to either RAW or SmackDown, they just wanted get to see you live.’ I remember when I got there, when I arrived backstage to SmackDown, some of the boys backstage, I won’t name shame anyone but some of the boys backstage were like, ‘why are you doing a dark match when they can clearly just log onto Peacock and see that you’re a current champion in NXT and watch your matches on Peacock?’ I’m sure there’s ways of watching me, I literally am on your product every week. But no they wanted to see a dark match.”
The only feedback I got was I needed to smile more so I was like, “Hey if that’s all that I need to do, everything else is good, I can definitely smile more.
Bronson Reed was asked to come back for another match at a RAW taping, which he later found out was scheduled to air on WWE Main Event. He said that based on the feedback from his previous match, he smiled more during the taping and thought it was “set” that he would be getting called up.
“Even though I had 99% of people telling me, ‘Hey you’re going to RAW, hey you’re going to SmackDown, I still had it in the back of my head like, ‘ah it might never happen.’ But I never had it in the back of my head that I was going to be released. I thought if anything that I would stay on NXT. I was very happy with NXT so I thought if I don’t move up to RAW or SmackDown, I’ll definitely be in NXT and I remember Shawn Michaels saying to me, ‘Hey if you don’t go up, you’ll be in NXT.’ Obviously, that didn’t happen, but at the time, it reassured me, it made me feel good.”
Jonah says he got a call “all of the sudden” and was informed he was losing the NXT North American Championship, which was a contrast to what he was told about original creative plans. Jonah says he was originally set to be champion through the end of the year but lost the title, then didn’t hear anything for two weeks. He explained that he just assumed he’d be staying in NXT after all, but then got the call about his release that left him stunned.
“I’m confused, people backstage are asking me what’s happening, what’s happening, no one knows and then I get booked to wrestle Adam Cole, my last NXT match. Couldn’t wrestle someone better. I think when you think the three letters NXT, one of two people come to mind. One is obviously Triple H, the man that created it but two is definitely Adam Cole, he was the face of NXT and the face of that era.”
“All of a sudden I get a call on my phone, I look down at the phone, I see that it’s Connecticut, I’m like, I have to answer this one because it’s something to do with work. I answer the phone very confidently, very happy because it is John Laurinaitis on the other end so I asked John ‘Hey how are you going?’ He asked me the same thing, I go, ‘yeah I’m going good.’ Here I am expecting [him] to be like, ‘Hey come to RAW on Monday or next week you’re coming to SmackDown.’ But instead, he goes, ‘Bronson I just need to let you know we are exercising our right to release you from your WWE contract.’ I was gobsmacked.
“I made sure to ask, hey, why? Is there a reason why you are releasing me? And Laurinaitis went on to say, ‘No, it’s a no at this time.’ He said to keep working but the door is always open. And that was it.”
Jonah says he’s since come to terms with being released and holds no ill will towards NXT because they were just as surprised about being let go as he was. He said he knows it was a business decision made by the company, and he’s excited because “Jonah” is back and fans should stay tuned for that.
If you use this transcript, credit WrestleZone and link back to this post.
The full episode is available here:
World News || Latest News || U.S. News