In some part, the decision of Christian (William Jason Reso) to leave WWE rested on an opportunity outside of the company, much like with others such as Chris Jericho. He has the opportunity to get a high-level role in a new movie from New Line Cinema and wanted the time and freedom to pursue the role, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
“I have some other interests going on outside the business that I’m really looking forward to,” he said in an interview on WWE.com Wednesday.
Reso, 31, who left WWE after being offered a new contract, was also offered less money under the new contract although how much less is still a question. According to the Pro Wrestling Torch, the contract Reso had been offered was approximately half of the near-$200,000 downside guarantee he was earning before (and making around double after completing a full tour schedule).
Reso, who lives with in two hours of Orlando (in Tampa), is expected to at least consider working with TNA Wrestling. According to the Observer, fellow Canadian Chris Benoit’s contract will be coming up soon, and his pay has been lowered in the suggested contract as well. Part of the reason could be that WWE is expected to lose close to 80% of their annual revenue as a result of their new deal with the USA Network.
Inside sources, speaking to several publications, said that WWE does not make pushes based on who is getting over, but based on plans that have been prepared in advance and that Reso’s frustration with the company also was based on his lack of a push after gaining some popularity with fans for his promos on RAW earlier this year targeting crumbing babyface John Cena, whose popularity has waned.
“My contract came up on Oct. 31 and we negotiated back and forth a little bit,” he said to WWE.com. “But it wasn’t about the money for me, really. There were some other things that were going on that helped sway my decision. It wasn’t a contract dispute, if that’s what you want to call it. It was a number of different things – I’ve been on the road with WWE for eight years straight, and it takes a toll on your body when you’re going 250-300 days a year. So part of it was that, and obviously there was some frustration and a lot of other reasons that factored in. But I wasn’t bitter at all.”
The independent scene, including TNA, has become a lucrative option for many former WWE stars, including most recently Team 3D (The Dudley Boyz). In TNA, Reso could earn over $100,000 a year for less than a third of the dates he worked for WWE and they would all also be local.