Eli Drake

Eli Drake Comments on His Backstage Issues with Bill DeMott in NXT, More


During the latest edition of “The Steve Austin Show”, Eli Drake commented on his issues with Bill DeMott when he worked with NXT in 2013 and 2014. You can check out some highlights from the podcast below:

On when his issues started with Bill DeMott in NXT: “We are in, probably two weeks deep, and the way it was set up, we’d do quarterly reviews. All the talent would like sit down with Kanyon, Bill DeMott, I forget who else was in the room. They’d basically say, ‘You’re doing this right, this right, whatever.’ I got in the room, I’m maybe two or three weeks in, just the way it was set up in the quarter, and Bill basically says, ‘I’ve expected to hate you from day one but you’re doing everything I want.’ And I’m like, ‘OK, that’s a weird way to start off this relationship.’ And our relationship was OK until, somehow, I think it was because I had just done the show with The Rock called The Hero and because of that, just having a little bit of TV time, they were kind of pushing me up a little bit. So Mattel was coming in to do scans of everybody and I was put on that short list of guys to do the scans. We had an NXT taping the night before and I had no food for the next day, and again, being body conscious like an idiot, well not like an idiot, but in that moment like an idiot, I stayed up to 2AM prepping food for the next day. Well I had to get up at 6AM to go to the Performance Center, I found out the hard way, I don’t know what kind of phone you have, I had a Samsung Galaxy at the time, if you don’t answer that alarm in one minute, it shuts off by itself, and I found out the hard way. So anyway, I showed up, I think I woke up 10 minutes before I was supposed to be there, I’m rushing in, I’m trying to call Bill, I’m like, ‘Hey, I’m on my way in.’ I get in there, and I’m 30 minutes late, but I’m still there before Mattel, so I’m like, ‘OK, we should be fine, fine me, whatever you guys gotta do, I’m good.’ And Bill is like, ‘No, you can’t stay here, it sends a bad message.’ I’m like, ‘Bill, you’re killing me, this huge opportunity, fine me, whatever we need to do.’ He’s like, ‘No, you need to go.’ Sends me out. I’m thinking like, this is awful, this is terrible, this is really bad, it’s a bad punishment, but that wasn’t the end of it. Then I was taken off Smackdown, I was supposed to go to Smackdown in like two weeks, he took me off that. They took me off the next 3 weeks to a month of live events for NXT, and I’m just like, ‘Goddamn, you guys are really beating this one into me.’ And Norman Smiley would always joke that they paid for one of the rings with all my fines for being late, I’m the worst with being on time for shit, and that doesn’t fly well there. So from then on, Bill and I’s relationship got kind of wonky, it was almost like a wink and a nod kind of relationship where it was like, we kind of talked shit to each other and what not, but it also got kind of weird to the point where I felt like I had to pull him aside a couple of times and be like, ‘What’s the heat?’ And he’d be like, ‘Oh no, there’s no heat.’ And I’m like, ‘OK.’ But then I’d go up to him in the morning and be like, ‘Good morning, Bill’ and go to shake his hand, and he’d look at my hand and walk away.”


On trying to talk things out with DeMott: “There was one last time where I came in the office, I’m very much face to face, I want to talk things out, not in an angry way, not in an confrontational way, but just like, what’s the heat and how can we make it better. And that was basically the exact conversation we had. But then the report I started hearing through the grapevine was that I stormed in the office, slammed the door, and was looking for a fight. Anybody who knows me, and not to mention there are cameras in that damn place, know that’s not how I handle business.”

On his final conversation with Triple H before WWE released him: “I went up to talk to him the night before and was like, ‘Hey, I don’t know if you know a lot about what I’m doing, but I’d like an opportunity to showcase, whether it’s character, talking, whatever, and I tried to make some pitches.’ And he’s like, ‘No, I know about you, you’re very talented, everybody’s been putting you over, problem is, you’re your own worst enemy.’ So he starts naming off the time I went up and talked to Bill in the office, which again, same way I’m talking to you now, there was no yelling, there was no tone raising, there was nothing, it was just literally, sat down and said, ‘Bill, I gotta know what’s the heat.’ That was it and we talked from then on.”

On if he’s hard to work with: “I’m very, very, very passionate. Maybe I am tough to work with, I don’t know. As a great example right now with NWA where we’re trying to get a t-shirt out for me but I want to make sure it’s something I like, that I’d want to wear. So I’m very passionate about making things very good, perfect, I want wrestling to be a certain way, I want my wrestling to be a certain way, you guys can do whatever you want, you can do it your style, but there’s a particular way that I want to do mine. It’s not that I can’t play by the play book, but I just want you to be straight up with me.”

(h/t – 411 Wrestling)

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