Eric Young knows professional wrestling is a wild business, and circumstances out of his control led to Sanity’s run on SmackDown ending before it really started.
Young was a recent guest on the Wrestling Perspective Podcast and talked about his run in WWE, including the group’s tenure on the SmackDown brand. Sanity quickly caught fire on NXT, but the SmackDown call-up didn’t pan out as it was planned. Young said they were all definitely excited to move up to SmackDown, but thinks they were just victims of circumstance and the group fizzled out before they had a chance to show what made them popular in NXT.
“Yeah, I mean, obviously excited to go up to the main roster and it’s all I’ve wanted to do since I was three years old, was work for WWE. NXT, for me, was the WWE. The checks that came in the mail are from WWE and the contract I signed was with WWE. It was the NXT brand where I worked, but I worked for WWE for the five, six or whatever [number of] years that I was there. We were all excited to go up for sure, and I think they had a real plan and victim of circumstance, we were supposed to debut on SmackDown. We were supposed to go into a feud with The New Day and we’re popped,” Young explained, “this is three of the most over guys, babyface act, on the show. Three amazing human beings, I still talk to them, love them dearly. Three of my very good friends in wrestling, I was talking to Big E a couple of days ago, actually.”
Young explained that Sanity was supposed to interrupt The New Day’s match on SmackDown, ending that particular show on a cliffhanger as fans would wonder why they were there. The segment got cut because the live show ran too long, and plans for them continued to change, including some things that were out of control.
“The next week we jumped The Usos and plans changed and we beat them up, we were supposed to beat them in a tag match the following week and the circumstances that led to that all kind of spiraling out of control was we were at a house show in Ontario, California,” Young explained, “and Shinsuke Nakamura gets attacked by a bomb-sniffing dog in the back. He was supposed to work [with] Jeff Hardy, who was the US Champion. [Nakamura] can’t work because he had to be taken to the hospital and he has these bites all over his leg, and in the meeting it comes up that they need a heel to work with Jeff.”
“Brian James, a very good friend of mine and I know he’s in the hospital and I hope everything’s OK [James has since been released from the hospital since the interview was recorded], he stood up and said ‘Eric Young is ridiculously talented, he could work with Jeff’ and they’re like, ‘OK, let’s do that.’ Then it was like, ‘Well, he can’t beat Jeff because he’s new and Jeff’s the US Champ, so how do we get out of that?’ ‘OK, so let’s have The Usos run out and we’ll make it a six-man tag.’ [Then it was] ‘Well… we can’t have The Usos lose because they’re the tag champs, and Jeff is the US Champ, so our first match on SmackDown, we got beat. I remember looking at the other guys in the group and said, ‘Guys, start thinking about other things to do because Sanity’s dead.’ They broke our legs before we could walk,” Young said. “The first time wrestling, we got beat cleanly in a six-man match, we’re done.”
“I don’t think it was ever by design,” Young stated, “it was just this weird spiral of odd circumstances that led us to that. That’s how it went, that’s how it works sometimes in wrestling. It’s a wild business.”
Young ended up splitting off from Sanity and was drafted to WWE’s RAW brand before being released last April. He has since returned to IMPACT Wrestling where we won the company’s World Championship, and started the Violent By Design stable.