Jake Atlas speaks on WWE release, contracting COVID-19

Originally published at Jake Atlas speaks on WWE release, contracting COVID-19

Former WWE performer Jake Atlas spoke with Denise Salcedo of Instinct Culture on his departure from the company, contracting COVID-19, and struggles with mental health.

The two spoke for an hour on Salcedo’s YouTube channel with the interview being released on Wednesday.

Atlas was of the many releases in 2021 and was let go by the company last month with the performer having a 30-day no-compete window. Atlas spoke about the brief call he received from executive John Laurinaitis regarding his release:

I was at dinner, it was that Friday night and I got a call from WWE incorporated. So that must mean that I don’t have the contact because that was the caller ID. So I was like ‘that’s interesting, anyone that has to call me, I have their name saved.’ There’s a lot that needs to be unraveled, but I’ll answer your question first then we can dive into the specifics. It was John Laurinaitis who I’ve never had a conversation with, he called me and he said that they are executing my 30-day non-compete clause and that was that. It was a 20 second conversation, I didn’t ask any questions, I was already expecting it and I kinda just numbed myself for the phone call.

Atlas opened up about mental health struggles he endured over that time with the company and at one point, did request his release from the company:

My entire run in WWE was the most, and I don’t know how to word this, it was probably the worst mentally I have ever been. My mental health was probably the worst it’s ever been, the last two years that I was with WWE. So when I turned down the contract extension, I counter offered with some terms of my own and I more than anything wanted a meeting with Triple H and our conversations were kind of at a standstill and as you know Canyon ended up getting let go himself. So then that put me in a really weird situation, I had asked Canyon for my release at some point in our conversations, it wasn’t a ‘I wanna leave,’ it was more so a conversation of ‘ I want to be here, and feel like I have so much value and I feel like I am not being heard.’ I had requested a meeting with Triple H for 6 months, and I never got it. I think that that was the thing that kinda had me worrying the most in that ‘I don’t know how they see me, or how they view me, or how they value me.’ There were a lot of things that I wanted to do and talk about and I was just given the runaround. So I said that ‘I wanted to ask for my release, I don’t want to, I want to stay but my mental health comes first and I am suffering.’

Atlas also contracted COVID-19 during his time in WWE and stated that the company took care of him during his bout with the virus:

I personally don’t think that I was ready for such a big shift in my career, I didn’t know how to handle pressure well, I still don’t think I know how to handle pressure well but that’s something I have to cope with. The first year was magnificent but it was also a very weird year because a pandemic happened. I got Covid around June. That was something I stayed silent on and no one really knew until now. That really affected me, I got really really sick, it affected my lungs, I still feel like it’s affecting me, not like other people who have had complications, but you can definitely feel different, at least I do after getting it. So I started to put pressure on my own performances, and kinda just started seeing myself kinda flee away from the wrestler that I was.

They actually take very good care of you, if you get Covid pretty bad because everyone gets it differently. I know for me it got pretty bad, I was out for about a month, maybe 6 weeks…WWE was always great at taking care of us during the pandemic even to this day to my knowledge.

Atlas made his first post-WWE appearance this past weekend at Effy’s Big Gay Brunch where he defeated Effy on the GCW branded show.

Atlas will be wrestling Taylor Rust this Sunday at the Ring of Honor Death Before Dishonor pay-per-view in Philadelphia.

The full interview can be watched on Denise Salcedo’s Instinct Culture YouTube channel.

1 Like

Why does HHH suck so bad at his job? He was probably too busy working on choreography for entrances to talk with Atlas.