Scott Garland, better known to wrestling fans as Scotty 2 Hotty, announced back in November that he had requested his release from the WWE after working for the WWE Performance Center as a trainer for over five years. Garland has since returned to touring as an independent wrestler (working for GCW and Ohio Valley Wrestling) and making public appearances, including K&S Wrestlefest. He explained in that Q&A why he chose to leave his role with the company, while also giving a glimpse at what has changed about WWE's developmental system over the past year. WWE rebooted the NXT brand as NXT 2.0 back in September and further changes, including letting major figures go at the start of the year, have been reported ever since.
"It wasn't one day, it came over time," he said regarding his decision to leave (h/t Wrestling Inc.). "Over the last six months, things started to change. At one point, it was the greatest thing I've experienced in my entire 32 years in wrestling. Anybody who was there understands it, it was such a cool culture, it was a genuine culture. That, 'We Are NXT' thing wasn't just a marketing slogan, that was a real thing. There was pride there, I rode with them. Everyone's on the same bus traveling together just having a great time, out there killing it. You know, we'd go to a WrestleMania weekend, or a SummerSlam weekend and do a Takeover, steal the weekend, best show of the weekend hands down.
"Then over the last six months to a year, some changes, you know and maybe part of it was me starting to change, and seeing outside of WWE starting to change. With not only groups like AEW, but some of these independents were on fire and comic-cons were on fire, these signings were on fire," he added. "There was just so much going on outside of WWE, and I'm 48-years-old. So I go, 'hey, if I'm going to do this, where I can actively get in the ring and go, now is the time to do it. I feel like I can still go and I feel like I proved that to everyone and to myself a couple of weeks ago with Joey Janela."
Regarding the changes within WWE, Garland said, "Management changing, culture-changing, just a lot of change. Probably COVID had something to do with it, the releases had something to do with it. As everybody knows, whether it's wrestling or working wherever. It sucks to go to work and be walking on eggshells every day."