Joe Cabray details what led to his release from WWE, outburst after match with Simon Gotch

Photo Courtesy: @Joe Cabray on LinkedIn

The question came up of would Cabray come back to the company. 

In 2014, the Ireland-based Over The Top Wrestling promotion was founded by Joe Cabray a.k.a. Luther Ward. Prior to launching the promotion, Cabray had a stint in WWE developmental. 

He further opened up about his release from WWE while guest appearing on Developmentally Speaking. Cabray had bounced back from concussion issues at the time. He had a last-minute match that was set up between him and Simon Gotch. 

Cabray said it did not go well and claims Gotch let him take all the blame for it. He had an outburst and it was later decided that him and WWE were going to part ways. Cabray said he sat down with company officials to give them feedback about why his run did not work out. 

I’ll just tell it really quickly. I was supposed to have a match in FCW. We were in Orlando at the time but as I said earlier, we would go back and we would do shows in the Tampa building. What’s the name of the street again?… So, I was on the show to wrestle I think in the opener and my opponent at the time, people were kind of worried about saying they’re injured because if you’re injured, you have to rest so, he’d been kind of ‘fabing this groin injury that he had and probably I’d say about 20 minutes before, he said, ‘I don’t think my groin is gonna make this match. I probably need to get taped up.’ So he went into the room to get taped up and he came out of the room taped up and Bill DeMott seen him and said, ‘What’s wrong?’ He goes, ‘Well I’ve been kind of struggling a little bit with a groin injury’ and he said, ‘You never told us.’ He’s like, ‘Well, I was kind of fighting through it. I thought I was good’ and he said, ‘Well, we don’t know the extent of this injury. So, get dressed. You’re not wrestling this match’ and then Bill essentially (is) just kind of looking around the room and was like, ‘You’ and pointed at Simon Gotch and at this point, the national anthem is playing to open the show and points at Gotch and he says, ‘You’re in, get ready’ and Gotch is sitting there in his street clothes because he thinks he doesn’t have a match. So he’s struggling there to get his gear on and there’s no time to plan anything. I’m actually made to go out first which I wasn’t supposed to go out first because Gotch doesn’t even have his boots on. So we go out to the ring completely cold and it was just kind of, like, miscommunications in the match. The referee kept telling me to give the match to Gotch and I kept doing everything to give the match back to Gotch and he wouldn’t do it. I don’t know what it was… Just wasn’t working. Happens in wrestling, happens. Match wasn’t very good. As you would kind of expect, the two people going out completely cold don’t even have a finish. Maybe they called who was going over just as the music was playing. They were like, ‘Gotch, you’re over.’ I can’t even remember who went over. But, the match wasn’t good and I kind of felt like for me, I was kind of calling my spot to kind of help him take the match over and we did the match and went back. We got pulled into a room and I essentially took all the heat and I looked at Gotch and Gotch just sat there, he didn’t say anything and I just said, ‘F*ck you’ and I walked out and I just think they knew I was done, I knew I was done. I was like, I’m getting over this concussion, I just had a stinker of a match, I hadn’t acclimated to the American way, I miss home. To have that outburst as well was really unprofessional. I just looked at Gotch and I was just like, ‘F*ck you…’ we’re both taking a beating and you’re not gonna turn around and say, look, I was 50 percent of this dance, you know what I mean? Just let me take the heat so I just left and then about two days later, they called me into the office and they said, ‘You don’t really seem happy here’ and I said, ‘I’m not.’ He said, ‘Well we’ve decided to part ways’ and I said, ‘Well, that’s fine. I really have appreciated my time here.’ I said, ‘I had a blast. I’m really sorry it didn’t work out.’ I said, ‘But I’m not happy here.’ I said, ‘I don’t know if I’m going to get out of here. I’m 31 years of age. How much do you have to invest?’ And then at the time, they said, ‘Well look, would you mind having a conversation and giving us some feedback?’ So we sat there for about another 30 minutes, just having a conversation about how — basically asked me, ‘Why do you think it didn’t work out here? Is there anything we could have done to have made it easier?’ And I gave the feedback to just be, essentially, show up, fly into Tampa on Saturday and to start a new job on Monday is very stressful when you don’t really have a place to live and stuff so they took all that on board. I handed back my keycard swipe. I think there was another guy that was released that day and I met him in the car park and he was in tears and I was kind of just (deep breaths), you know? And I loved my time there. I just didn’t want to waste my time there anymore, I didn’t wanna waste their time anymore. I couldn’t keep going the way I was.

Following up on that, Cabray was asked if he’d be open to returning to the company. He would not be onboard if the return had to do with him being a wrestler, but he’d consider assisting from a producer role. 

If NXT Europe launched, he’d consider helping behind the scenes but he added that he has not heard anything about the brand in quite some time. 

Definitely not (open to returning to WWE) as a wrestler. My wrestling days are over. It’s weird. I had a match in Barcelona. I still do matches the odd time… I’m not the young guys every week training to come up with stuff. It’s not what I’m doing anymore. I’m kind of more focused on the promoter thing so I definitely wouldn’t go back as a wrestler. But, I do feel I have a lot to give in terms of agenting and stuff like that so, if that was an option, yeah, I could consider it but, definitely not as a wrestler. My wrestling days, I don’t have any kind of desire to get back into the ring on a full-time basis. I don’t mind doing a match here and there but definitely not on a full-time basis, or if I can travel, you know?

Yeah (I’d consider to assist with NXT Europe). I don’t know if it’s gonna happen. I haven’t heard anything on NXT Europe for a while. Talks seem to have died down a lot… I think the real reason why it’s set up was because there was a real big station here, UTV, ITV as some know it, that had a lot of money and they were investing in wrestling and… I think that kind of spooked them a bit and that’s why NXT Europe was set but that kind of all fell to crap and so yeah, I don’t know if they’ll make that NXT Europe. Who knows? 

Over The Top Wrestling has shows scheduled for April 7th and 28th in Dublin. Their most recent show was on March 3rd and it featured Lio Rush.

If the quotes in this article are used, please credit Developmentally Speaking with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.

About Andrew Thompson 8826 Articles
A Washington D.C. native and graduate of Norfolk State University, Andrew Thompson has been covering wrestling since 2017.