The final note in a contentious battle occurred when Jay Reso, also known as Christian, quit WWE last week in a decision not made public until today. Reso, who is almost 32, chose to end his seven-year relationship with the company in what has been the latest in a series of talent changes that has threatened the company.
As one of several people on the internet-voting ballot to decide who will face Edge and Chris Masters on the Taboo Tuesday PPV, voting predictably increased for him to be in the match after the company announced his departure today on their website. He would be willing to perform Tuesday night if needed, according to the Wrestling Observer, but will likely be removed tonight on RAW. His final match was at the Smackdown tapings in Los Angeles on Sunday night.
Christian’s career decision is part of a larger and increasingly detrimental trend in WWE with talent changes that have significantly changed a lineup that the company has depended on. As wrestlers have grown increasingly dissatisfied with opportunity for growth and hard work on tour with the company, they have increasingly decided to leave the company to pursue other life goals.
“Paranoia is striking deep,” wrote Dave Meltzer to describe the ongoing situation.
Among others, Nora Greenwald and Matt Wiese both said that they were glad to leave and pursue other interests. Brock Lesnar left at the crest of his popularity in order to tryout for a football team. Chris Jericho left the company earlier this year for an extended vacation that he now says may not end as he builds his band Fozzy. Rob Van Dam has notably and famously complained publicly about how the company operates and renegotiated his relationship with the company. Politically, Jim Ross was forced out of his position as lead announcer, and although the public reason was a tumor that was found in his colon, the decision to remove him had been made prior to that. The company is left with a constantly changing and equally unstable climate that threatens to derail their plans, despite the recent return of Triple H to television.
Reso’s years in WWE were marked by slow growth. In 1998, he joined the company and won the WWF Light Heavyweight Championship in his first appearance. He was also part of a group with the vampire-like Gangrel, leading to his greatest fame as a long-running tag team with Edge, winning the tag team title seven times. They participated in one of the most famous tag team matches in the history of professional wrestling, a part of the “Tables Ladders and Chairs” series that took place at Wrestlemania in 2001. While famous, the match is unlikely to be duplicated anytime soon as it became symbolic of a style that was eventually associated with many neck surgeries. In some regards, as Mick Foley often pointed out, the comparison was not apt because the neck injuries continued after the style changed with the same rapidity.
His eventual singles push was marked by indecision, including as part of a stable called the UnAmericans, during which he was asked to cut his hair in a controversial management decision to change his look. After this stable, he remained an unremarkable member of the roster. But very slowly he gained a fanbase and cultivated a notable, but underrated talent in the ring and in doing interviews.
According to the Observer, Christian was offered a contract two weeks ago at the television tapings in San Francisco. He was asked to sign on the spot, without reviewing the contract, and declined the offer. He did a job Sunday night before quitting.