William Regal looks set to return to WWE after less than a year of leaving the company. But why was William Regal fired by WWE and what has made him want to return to the company that kicked him to the curb after 22 years of excellent work?
Why William Regal Was Fired By WWE
William Regal was fired by WWE on January 5th, 2022 due to the transition from NXT to NXT 2.0, and wanting new coaches backstage helping the aspiring wrestlers in the company. It also came in the midst of a huge selection of releases due to budget cuts, with saw some big time wrestlers like Bray Wyatt, Braun Strowman and Nia Jax all have their WWE contracts terminated by WWE President Nick Khan.
His release ended 22 years with the company, which saw him through the highs of the King of the King and Wrestlemania moments, to the lows of nearly dying and struggling intently with drug issues. These issues saw him miss out on his chance on becoming WWE Champion, which would have made him the first ever British world champion in WWE history (that honour was taken by Drew McIntyre in 2020).
WWE fired William Regal due to the failure of NXT to go head-to-head with AEW Dynamite and beat them in the ratings war. NXT launched their two-hour tv show a week before AEW Dynamite in 2019, but failed to achieve higher ratings and eventually fell to half of what Tony Khan’s promotion was getting.
With the “main roster money” being paid to the likes of Adam Cole, Samoa Joe and Finn Balor yielding very poor results, Vince McMahon soon pulled the plug on this version of NXT. No longer would it be the PWG of WWE, the super-indie promotion that saw the best wrestlers outside of WWE band together until they were ready to be wasted on the main roster. They were now to be only focusing on homegrown talent who hadn’t wrestled outside of WWE, moulding them into the wrestler they wanted and not continuing their character from the independent scene.
WWE released this statement about the released staff from NXT before Shawn Michaels took over NXT 2.0;
“With the continued evolution of NXT 2.0, we’ve decided to part ways with some of the staff based in our Performance Center. We thank them for their many contributions throughout the years and wish them the best.”
Triple H Was Furious With His Release
Another reason why William Regal was released by WWE was due to the absence of long-time friend Triple H. The Game was the head of NXT and untouchable in WWE, but suffered a cardiac arrest in September 2021 which kept him out of his work in WWE and fighting for his life.
In his absence, former DX tag team partner Shawn Michaels took the helm. While being a legend in the ring has it perks, the Heart Break Kid did not have the pull backstage to stop Nick Khan from gutting NXT of it’s old guard and building it back up in his own image.
Triple H has since returned to the WWE and taken over the role as head of creative in the company. He has brought back a number of his favoured released wrestlers since then, including Bray Wyatt, Braun Strowman and Teg Nox, among a string of others. One man he wasn’t immediately able to bring back was William Regal, who signed with AEW in March 2022 and debuted alongside Jon Moxley and Bryan Danielson at AEW Revolution.
Triple H was reportedly “very unhappy” that Regal was fired by WWE in the first place. This is what Fightful select reported surrounding the situation;
“We don’t have any details on the unusual length of the deal after he debuted back in March, or any provisions associated. A WWE source said that it does not come as any surprise that William Regal is likely headed back, because Triple H was “very unhappy” that Regal was let go in the first place.“
“NXT sources had long told Fightful that William Regal was considered a lifer with that brand specifically, something that Triple H mentioned himself to us once. Those in WWE expect him to resume an advanced role similar to the one he had before, but that wasn’t confirmed.“
William Regal is rumoured to have left AEW, less than a year into his cotnract and is expected to return to the WWE imminently. Despite being fired earlier this year, William Regal will reunite with Triple H and is expected to return to his role as trainer and head scout with NXT, under the guidance of Triple H and Shawn Michaels.
Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.