In his first interview since asking for his release from WWE NXT, Scotty 2 Hotty talked to Chris Jericho about why he wanted out and his final days with the brand, including an edict Vince McMahon laid down about how the coaches should look.
Scotty 2 Hotty (Scott Garland) said that among the changes backstage, like requiring trainers to dress in business casual attire after years of wearing branded track suits, McMahon decreed that the trainers should "look younger" by dying their beards and cutting their hair even though they weren't on camera.
Garland, who had been a trainer for four years in NXT, said he lost sleep over the new rules, thinking if that was a new requirement, what else could be coming next?
He said his first four years in NXT "was a dream job" and that it was the hottest brand in wrestling for a long time. He understands why all the changes happened, but that the end of the Paul Levesque era "pisses you off, but it's also sad. We lost this thing...it's like dealing with a death."
Garland said that Levesque used to say they could make millions off bottling up the NXT culture, but to Garland, that culture has been lost to a degree with the changes.
"It was the coolest environment I've been around in 30 years of pro wrestling," he said.
He requested his release because he wasn't having any fun and it was time to move on. He felt the same as when he re-signed a three-year deal in 2006 and was cut a year later. He vowed then to never keep working somewhere if he wasn't happy, leading to his decision.
He said he looked around at people like Jericho, Matt Hardy, Matt Cardona and others around his age having fun in AEW and the indies and that if he was ever going to get back in the ring, the time was now to do that.
After making his in-ring debut against Joey Janela, Garland said his goal is to have fun. He is unsure what name he is going to use, but already has dates booked overseas and is excited about what is to come.
The hour-long interview saw Garland talk about how he first got into the then-WWF, the evolution of his team with Brian Christopher and Rikishi, how his Worm finisher came about and more.