Byron Saxton was the guest on this week’s After the Bell with Corey Graves and discussed how his in-ring career came to an end, moving into a non-wrestling role and working alongside Dusty Rhodes in NXT. Saxton worked in FCW and NXT until 2012, when he transitioned away from the ring. Saxton recalled how he was told that he would not be able to continue in an in-ring capacity, but was offered another role which ended up working with Dusty Rhodes. He also recalled how Rhodes saved his job with WWE at one point. You can check out the full audio and highlights below:
On his in-ring career ending: So, 2012 was my final match in NXT. We had already transitioned of course from FCW. And at the time, I had been in development longer than anybody. I was there for 5 years and change. And this was a time where again, there was a lot of transitioning happening from FCW to NXT. We had a new coaching staff come in. Bill DeMott, funny enough, had come back into the fold. And I gather from the outside looking in, I think the new administration probably came in and went, ‘Okay. Who do we have on our roster here in developmental? How long have they been here, what’s their career trajectory?’
“And that ended up translating into a phone call that I received one day from talent relations. Someone else in a higher position, I guess I’ll say. And I was basically told, ‘Listen. If you like to continue our professional wrestling career with this company, that may not be possible. But if you would like to pursue something else behind the scenes, then we might still have an opportunity.’ And that was that. So I, trying to be a smart forward-thinking businessman, I said to myself ‘Well, Im not opposed to learning a new skill.’ And I know — look, I still wanted to wrestle. That bug never goes away, as you know. But I said, I mean, it’s a risk. I dont know where this road’s going to take me. But if the company is basically telling me Im going to be fired if I want to continue being a wrestler, let me see what this other option is. And thats how it came to an end.
On how Dusty Rhodes saved his career: So at the time when they said to me, ‘Hey, your wrestling career is ending, you’re going to be doing something behind the scenes,’ I didnt exactly know what that meant until I walked in the office that day and found out I’m basically going to be Dustys assistant. And that goes back to just the unexpected, like, my gosh, what an opportunity to sit under the learning tree of one of the most creative and influential individuals that our industry has ever seen. Sitting next to him every morning, as he planned out promo class, being able to help teach promo class with him, help with character development. Actually getting to sit down with talent and come up with names, come up with entrances. I remember at one point, I don’t know if you recall, it was me you and Terry Taylor going over your entrance. So just having the chance to again, learn a different aspect of this business and apply some creative juices was awesome. And Dusty himself, my gosh, he saved my job. I mean, there was a time in FCW where I know for a fact it was basically me or someone else that was going to go. And I know that Dusty spoke up for me to keep me around. So I am forever in debt to what he has done for me.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit WWE’s After the Bell with a h/t to 411mania.com for the transcription.