In an intimate conversation with PWInsider Elite, WWE Hall of Famer D'Von Dudley he peeled back the curtain on his decision to step into the shoes of a WWE producer, even though his heart still throbbed for in-ring action.
Reflecting on his retirement from wrestling in 2016, Dudley yearned to continue wrestling. His conversation with Triple H, WWE's Executive Vice President, underscored this sentiment. "I wasn't ready to call it quits," Dudley passionately stated.
"During a candid chat, I confided in Triple H about my reluctance. He shared Vince McMahon's vision for us - the iconic Dudley Boyz. As our discussion deepened, I remember vividly questioning, 'Is there even an alternative for me?'"
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While his heart was set on the squared circle, personal tribulations heavily influenced Dudley's choice.
Navigating through the turbulent waters of a divorce, he prioritised remaining a pillar of support for his young son. A wrestling career outside WWE, potentially jet-setting to countries like Japan, stood in stark contrast to his commitment to be close to his family.
With WWE's backstage role, not only did he see an opportunity to remain anchored at home, but it also provided him with a stable career path. "I was truly at a crossroads in my career," Dudley admitted, his voice carrying a tone of reflection.
"With AEW still emerging and not quite established and TNA, a former powerhouse, witnessing its decline towards its sunset phase, I was grappling with uncertainties. The allure of the independent circuit was there, but its inherent unpredictability left me wary.
Wrestling is a passion, but I had to think long-term. After much contemplation, accepting WWE's offer to transition into a producer role, even as the fire to wrestle still burned brightly within me, emerged as the most strategic and logical step forward." However, Dudley's wrestling flame never wholly extinguished.
He marked a sensational return to the ring for Impact Wrestling's landmark 1000th show. Reuniting with Bully Ray to reform Team 3D, Dudley made a bold statement. While fans relished his return, they should manage their expectations about seeing D'Von Dudley gracing the WWE ring in the foreseeable future.