René Dupre is turning the page on his North American wrestling career as he prepares for a rebirth of sorts in Japan.
WWE announced last week that it came to terms on the release of Dupre, a parting of the ways the 23-year-old Dupree said he asked for.
"I was at the point I wanted to do something else ... I have nothing negative to say about them at all," Dupre told SLAM! Wrestling from his Houston, Texas home, adding his choice was a "personal decision."
"You come to a point in life where you need a change."
The native of Shediac, New Brunswick said he will be going August 12 to Japan's Hustle promotion, fulfilling a lifelong desire of his to work in that country.
"I'm really psyched for there -- I know I'm gonna love it."
Dupre suggested a return to North America is not a priority for him right now, and pointed out wrestlers like Stan Hansen, "Dr. Death" Steve Williams, and Scott Norton who made their careers in Japan.
He is particularly looking forward to working with Masahiro Chono, a wrestler he watched back in his father Emile's Atlantic Grand Prix Wrestling promotion.
"Getting in the ring with him will be a dream come true."
Dupre's WWE debut came in 2003 on RAW, and he went on to win the World Tag Team Title with Sylvain Grenier and the WWE Tag Team Championship with Kenzo Suzuki.
A hernia in late 2005, however, nearly ended his career. Following an unsuccessful surgery, Dupre went under the knife once again in early 2006 with better results.
He returned to the WWE ring later that year, this time for the ECW brand, but several months afterward, he was suspended for violating the WWE's Health and Wellness policy.
Dupre would not comment about that suspension except to say it had nothing to do with his choice to leave the WWE.
Dupre had spent a couple weeks leading up to his exit with the WWE's new developmental territory Florida Championship Wrestling. He said there had been some talk of him returning to WWE's RAW brand prior to his decision to leave.
René Dupre bio and story archive
Winnipeg correspondent Richard Kamchen can be e-mailed at email@example.com.