Daivari Talks to the Torch

The following statement by Shawn Daivari regarding his WWE release is excerpted from a “Torch Talk” interview conducted Tuesday, Oct. 17. An extended version is available at www.PWTorch.com.

Wade Keller: Let’s begin with an explanation of your departure from WWE. We should say that WWE.com simply reported today that they came to terms with you on a release and didn’t provide any other details. Is this something you initiated or they initiated?

Shawn Daivari: It’s actually been about four or five months in the process. My contract is actually running up in February 2008. Usually, they like to get guys re-signed nine months to a year out before their deal is up. They came back to me with a new contract actually while I was on Smackdown a while ago. They handed it to me and told me to look it over, sign it, and get to back to us whenever. So, I looked it over and it was still a while out, so there was no urgency on it. There was no immediate intention from me to sign it because we still had a good nine months to a year until my deal was up.

In that mean time, I got a phone call from the office wondering why I hadn’t signed it. They said, “What can we do to make things better?” I told them some of the things I would like to do at the time on Smackdown. There were a lot of shows I wasn’t on and a lot of the times, they had to combine the Smackdown and ECW house shows. So there’s only room for so many matches on a show, so sometimes guys will get rotated in and out. You might be on for three weeks; off for three weeks. That was something I told them I wasn’t too crazy about. I’m kind of a crazy guy when I’m at home. I need to be on the road pretty much full time for my own sanity and I wasn’t getting a lot of that.

Fast forward a few months later – I was drafted to Raw and things got significantly better. Right away, I was working on all the shows, all the international tours, and I was pretty much working every show Raw had. So, we started talking about re-doing my contract. They said, “We gave you what you wanted. You’re able to do more shows and this and that. Where do we land on the contract?” I told them a couple things I was looking for and looking to do – more so creatively than anything [else]. It had nothing to do with legal issues or numbers. They were very generous and met me with everything I was looking for financially. It was just a few decisions creatively that we disagreed on, or there was something they couldn’t guarantee me in writing because, obviously, creative is nothing you can put in your contract as to who you’re going to work with and for how long, etcetera.

Bottom line, it came down to we couldn’t come to a creative conclusion that worked for everybody. Over the course of the last four weeks, I had individual meetings with John Laurinaitis, Vince McMahon, and Stephanie McMahon. It was something that came out a lot more professional than I thought it would. Just between the three of us, we all decided that going forward, right now is probably not the best time for me. I asked if they would be offended or upset at all if I got a release early from my contract without finishing out the terms. They were actually surprisingly super cool with it. There was no hard feelings; no one upset with it. Even Vince and Stephanie said they appreciated me being up front with him instead of just waiting this thing out, letting it run its course and run its course, then finally saying, “No, I’m no going to re-sign.” I just told them straight out that it would be better if I seek my fortunes elsewhere and surprisingly, they were all real cool with it.

(Daivari is currently taking booking dates for matches and autograph signings. Inquire at: bookdaivari@hotmail.com or visit www.shawndaivari.com. His emails are being filtered by a booking agent and he is responding only to professional inquiries, not fan email.)

The rest of the Torch Talk goes in depth on Daivari’s feelings on the terrorist-sympathizer angle he and Muhammad Hassan were involved in, Hassan’s controversial departure, specific creative frustrations with WWE, what he wishes his colleagues would do more of behind the scenes, the treatment of cruiserweights by WWE, the fallout of the Benoit Family Tragedy, his thoughts on drug testing, his experience with concussions, and much more.

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