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On this day …

July 3, 2010

Whenever I see the words “on this day” in print, I immediately start humming Edge’s theme song. I know, very dorky. I actually blame former colleague Lou DiPietro (or Louie Dee, for those of you who read his work in Pro Wrestling Illustrated). He would spend days at a time singing Edge’s theme song outside my office. Seriously.

But this post isn’t entirely about Edge. Sure, it was “on this day” back in 2006 that the Rated-R Superstar beat Rob Van Dam and John Cena to become a two-time WWE Champion. But more importantly (to me), July 3, 2006 also marked my final day at WWE … temporarily.

Me and members of the crew on Halloween. I'm the one sitting at the desk. I didn't have a costume on, but many assumed I was dressed as Matt Striker.

After eight years on the job, I decided it would be best if I got out of the fast lane for a little while and enjoy some quiet time with my wife. So I quit. I didn’t even have another job to fall back on; I just quit. Looking back now, I’m pretty sure everybody around me knew how this latest career twist was going to end. But not me. When I walked out the door on July 3, 2006, I thought it was the last time I would ever set foot inside Titan Towers. Boy was I wrong.

I have to give some people a lot of credit. There were several unnamed as-high-ranking-as-you-can-get employees telling me that I would eventually realize that was my home. They were even kind enough to tell me that I would always have a place there if I decided to return. They certainly knew what they were doing. I, on the other hand, had no clue. So I walked out the door.

Six weeks later, one of my closest friends and Executive Vice President of Digital Media at WWE Chris Chambers called me out of the blue. It was noon on Tuesday (as Sheryl Crow would say) … Actually, I don’t know when it was. But I recall it being around lunchtime on a weekday. I was walking out of J. Crew in Westport, CT, and heading into the deli next door for a sandwich. Normally, our conversations would start out with Chris asking me how my wife was. He’s always been very considerate like that. But this time, he asked about me first, which I thought was rather odd. So I stepped out of line at the deli and walked outside. Within minutes, that sneaky Chambers had me spewing my guts.

“I’m so bored,” I told him. “I don’t know what to do with myself, there’s only so much daytime TV I could watch.”

Chambers just listened. He knew that if I talked long enough, I would eventually realize that I wanted to be back. The funny thing is, though, that I had no idea myself. I knew I was bored, but I didn’t necessarily know that I wanted to go back to But by the end of the conversation, a lightbulb went off in my head. I finally realized that I wanted to be back. Once it hit me, I immediately said something.

“Hey, what if I just did a little part-time stuff for you guys. You know, nothing crazy … just some stuff on the side,” I said. He told me he thought it would be a good idea, but didn’t elaborate much. Instead, he continued to let me talk. I kept spewing out projects that we could do together, and about 10 minutes later, I said something to the effect of, “Screw it, I need to come back full time if we are going to do these things right.”

The next day, I was in Human Resources signing papers.

Chambers still ribs me about it today. He has finally admitted that his plan to call me (and not say much during the conversation) six weeks later was very calculated.

The decision to go back was one of the greatest I ever made; we did some amazing things at over the following year or so. I eventually left again in January 2008 when another opportunity outside of wrestling popped up … it was just too good to pass up. But I must admit that I missed WWE greatly. Luckily, I still get to feed my sports-entertainment appetite by writing books with WWE. The experience has been amazing and still keeps me close to all the friends I made during my 10 years with the company.

And finally, because I said I would never write a blog unless it was to help sell books (at least I’m up front about it), go get yourself one of my books here.


From → WWE

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