Shawn Spears On Turning Down A “Substantial” Raise Before Leaving WWE

Shawn Spears (Tye Dillinger) talks about leaving WWE despite the company offereing him a lot more money to stay

Shawn Spears
Shawn Spears (Tye Dillinger) talks with Chris Van Vliet

Former WWE Superstar Tye Dillinger (Shawn Spears) recently sat down with entertainment reporter Chris Van Vliet for an hour-long interview covering a wide range of topics. Spears discussed leaving WWE after turning down a big pay raise, how his departure affects his fiancé Peyton Royce, opening a new wrestling school with Tyler Breeze and much more.

Head over to Chris Van Vliet’s Youtube Channel for more of his recent interviews with Matt Morgan, Ryback, MJF, Joey Janela, Cody Rhodes and many more. Highlights from the discussion with Shawn Spears are below:

Why WWE Granted His Request To Be Released

Several WWE Superstars have reportedly asked to be released this year, but few were allowed to leave. Spears is not sure why WWE allowed him to go, but he thinks his eight years with the company might have garnered him some respect from management. His tweet back in February announcing that he requested his release also gave him additional leverage.

“I was with them for eight and a half years total including my first time around,” he said” “I did things right, I never got into any trouble. I was professional and I carried myself well and always did what I was asked to do. So that was one thing, the other thing is that statement that I put out later that evening on February 19th kind of handcuffed them a little bit. If they would have kept me, that might have made a lot of people unhappy. If they would have kept me and utilized me in a negative way or have me get killed on TV every week that would have made people upset. I think it put me in the best position possible to get what I was looking for. And the third possible reason is maybe they didn’t see anything in me and they go ‘You know what? We don’t see any value. It is time to go, so go ahead and to be honest with you I really hope it’s that one. I really, really do because that just fuels a little more fire.”

His 90-day non-compete with WWE ending the day before Double or Nothing:

Spears took part in the AEW: Double or Nothing pre-show battle royal. As it turns out, his non-compete clause with WWE expired the day before the pay-per-view.

“I asked for my release on my birthday, February 19th. I was verbally granted it on the Friday which was the 22nd or something but I needed the paperwork officially and I didn’t get that until the following week. Had they waited an extra 24 hours I would not have been able to do Double or Nothing so I think WWE was being gracious. They knew what was going on. I think they allowed me to be out at that time to do whatever I wanted to do including Double or Nothing. I could be completely wrong and it might have slipped their minds, I don’t know but I like to think that I had earned that mutual respect.”

If his WWE departure will affect Peyton Royce’s WWE career:

“When I first brought it up she was open to speaking about it and talking about it and we did on numerous occasions and then finally she could see that nothing was changing and nothing was getting better.”

“My mentality in terms of bringing my work home with me wasn’t getting any better and eventually she said to me, ‘Look, I need you happy and I don’t care how that is, I don’t care where that is. I just know that going forward for the rest of our lives, for our future children and for our household now I need you happy. So whatever it is that you need to do to make yourself happy, I am with you 100%. Wherever you go I am with you 100%.'”

“She has my back. And when you find someone like that, put a ring on it. Lock it down. She has been my upmost number one supporter and my number one fan and my best friend through all of this.”

Spears also discussed turning down a “substantial” raise from WWE before leaving. He said by the end of his WWE run, money was not going to make him happy. He didn’t want to stay with the company and be full of regret. To him, the most important things are being a good person, being a good father and living a life worth living. He wants to live on his own terms.

In a situation that sounds a lot like Jon Moxley’s WWE departure, Spears said WWE told him he’d be getting a “substantial raise” if he stayed, but did not want to see what that actual number was. His decision was made at that point and the pay increase was not going to fix what he was unhappy about.

There’s much more to this interview, which you can (and should) check out here:

Watch: Shawn Spears Talks With Chris Van Vliet

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