If Neville did indeed stomp away from the WWE stage, it's hard to blame him.
The King of the Cruiserweights killed it as champion. He was an engaging, sneering predator between the ropes. He thrived against any opponent the company threw at him. He was the backbone of a cruiserweight division WWE didn't seem to care much about until Enzo Amore arrived.
On Monday's Raw, Kalisto defeated Amore for the Cruiserweight Championship in a lumberjack match. The entire division, save Neville, surrounded the ring to ensure the two combatants stayed in the ring.
Neville's absence may be the result of him departing the company.
Joseph Currier of Figure Four Online reported: "Sources confirmed to us that Neville walked out before Raw on Monday and appeared to have quit the promotion, though WWE has officially denied that he's quit."
Pro Wrestling Sheet's Ryan Satin wasn't able to confirm that Neville is done with WWE, but he did note that the British dynamo did leave Raw early.
"Sources say Neville was initially scheduled to lose to Enzo Amore in the main event lumberjack match on Raw. However, plans changed after the ex-cruiserweight champion walked out before the show," Satin reported.
There's been no word on what caused all this. There's nothing confirmed about the reason for the apparent friction between employer and employee. But an educated guess points to Neville's position on the WWE hierarchy being the catalyst.
While he was cruiserweight champ twice since January, he has good reason to be frustrated with his spot on the stage.
As Joe Lanza of Voices of Wrestling pointed out, WWE simply hasn't done for Neville what it did for Amore:
Amore only joined the division in August. He quickly ascended to the top of the heap as WWE decided to finally highlight the 205 Live subsection of its roster. Amore appeared in the main event segment on Raw three times running, something WWE never did when Neville was on top.
Muscles Marinara battled intercontinental champ The Miz early in his cruiserweight tenure in one of the few examples of the 205 Live division crossing over to the rest of the Raw brand. Neville never once had a bout of that kind.
The company has begun to push the division into the forefront, a development Neville surely advocated for when he was its central star.
During The King of the Cruiserweights' title reigns he and his opponent were relegated to the pre-show of three pay-per-views: SummerSlam, WrestleMania 33 and Great Balls of Fire, as seen on CageMatch.net.
So, for the two biggest shows of the year, WWE opted to cram Neville and his foes in the filler part of the event. At WrestleMania, Neville and Austin Aries delivered one of the night's best matches, but it was in front of a half-empty arena. And the U.S. version of the PPV's DVD didn't include the pre-show action, per WrestlingDVDNetwork.com,
When it came time to craft Neville's merchandise, the company apparently gave the least effort possible:
No, he wasn't getting the treatment The Ascension suffers through each week, but Neville likely believes he's a bigger star than WWE did. He did everything the company asked well. He was the lifeblood of the division.
But it was Amore who got the red-carpet welcome despite being an inferior wrestler.
Neville also has to realize how coveted of a free agent he would be. Japanese promotions would scoop him up. Ring of Honor, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and Evolve would all write nice, healthy paychecks to bring him aboard.
He has to have noticed that Cody Rhodes went from frustrated to flourishing by leaving a company that didn't properly value him.
Knowing there are viable options out there, places where he would be perceived as royalty, it has to be tough watching a guy he can wrestle circles around get all the close-ups he could ask for.
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