Shawn Spears Wanted To Come Back To WWE And Contribute, Jumped At NXT Return

Shawn Spears WWE NXT
Photo Credit: WWE
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Shawn Spears opens up about his return to WWE.

Shawn Spears left WWE in 2019 and signed with AEW. He departed AEW at the end of 2023 and returned to NXT on the February 27 episode of the show.

Speaking with Fightful‘s Sean Ross Sapp, Shawn Spears was asked about his amicable exit from AEW and how important it was for that to be the case.

“It’s very important to me. I am somebody who, for whatever anybody wants to say about me throughout the course of the 20-plus years that I’ve been doing this, one thing that’s gonna be hard for them to say is that I have been unprofessional. I’m a very big believer that the professional wrestler, that word ‘professional’ is paramount, is key. It’s almost more important to me than the second word that comes into play. It was amicable, absolutely, as was me leaving WWE in 2019.

“Again, I like to think that, over the years, I have accumulated a level of respect from my peers, from the people that employed me. There’s obviously a two-way street there with a great deal of respect. So having things like that will prevent things from being nasty. They don’t need to get to that point. It was just a time that I thought was best for me, best for my family, and as difficult as some decisions are sometimes, it’s nice to know that that mutual respect can allow things to go smoothly, [more] smoothly than they may.”

Shawn Spears Discusses His Priorities

When asked about how he weighed his priorities in making his decision, Shawn Spears stated that he wanted to come back to WWE. From there, he wanted to figure out the best course of action. He also stated that WWE was on fire, and he wanted to contribute any way he could.

“It was important to me, A, to be able to come back to this company,” Shawn Spears said. “That was the first big question of whether or not that was a possibility. Once the possibility was a definite possibility, then it became about what is the best course of action to take going forward. Let’s be honest. Let’s be clear as day, and I’m not gonna tell you guys anything you don’t already know. WWE is on fire, across the board.

“The numbers have never been better, and I don’t know all the numbers, don’t get me wrong. But what I do know of them is that we are smashing record after record. The attendance is going through the roof, the merchandise is off the charts. That wheel is spinning faster and stronger than ever. So to be able to come back into that and be a spoke on that wheel again, and be able to contribute in any way that I can, is massive.”

Shawn Spears On Why He Wanted To Come To NXT

Shawn Spears stated that when he was presented with the opportunity to come to NXT, he jumped on it. He stated that the brand has been killing it, and he also values having the ability to work with young talent. Spears made it clear that his responsibilities are not limited to the ring, and that means a lot to him.

“Once the opportunity came to come to NXT, I jumped all over it. There’s gonna be people watching this right now that are saying, ‘Why wouldn’t you want to go to Raw? Why wouldn’t you want to go to to SmackDown?’ NXT is also killing it,” Shawn Spears said. “I have been here for a couple weeks now, and I have seen talent that has blown me away. What I love about that is that it takes me back to when I first started training, or it reminds me of my time here in the Performance Center, being in the spot that they’re in right now, knowing where they’re gonna have the opportunity to possibly go, the things that they’re gonna go through, I’m able to help guide in that sense too, with my time here at the Performance Center.

“My responsibilities at WWE are a little more than just in the ring. That is something that I don’t take lightly, and that is something that I am massively interested in. At the end of the day, what it boiled down to, after a conversation with my wife, I get to wake up every morning and see my son, and play with him and do whatever I need to do, and then I get to be home in my bed, sleeping beside my wife. So in the middle of that, the in-between that, if I get to go hang out and learn from the Shawn Michaels of our world or the Matt Blooms, I get to be a big kid in between those very important things, and I get to do that every day. Tell me how I made the wrong call. Tell me how I made a bad decision.”

Shawn Spears On Negotiating With WWE

Shawn Spears was then asked to describe how he started talking with WWE. He highlighted the mutual respect they shared, and he also stated that he had some friends who still worked in the company.

“I think it kind of goes back to the respect and the mutual respect, and the contacts that I have made over the course of a pretty lengthy career,” Shawn Spears said. “I had a few friends that still work in WWE. I’ve kept in touch with them all throughout the years, that when it started getting floated out there that I was leaving my previous stop, it was more about, okay, well, what do you want to do next? Did you want to come back? Did you want us to reach out?

“Everybody was kind of offering a helping hand, so to speak. Eventually, what it boiled down to was me having a conversation with my wife and kind of weighing out what was best for us timing-wise. I reached out, and thankfully, there was a possibility there.”

Spears noted that the business changes constantly, especially in WWE, and his return came about quickly and happily.

“It came about rather quick, and happily quickly. So it’s an ever-changing business, and you never know who’s gonna pop up when,” he said. “That’s the biggest thing I was happy about. We were able to keep things pretty quiet until we unleashed it in NXT.”

The full interview can be seen here:

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