Pull it straight out..the wire is a pain to fish in in out sometimes. Some use High lb test fish line
If I might suggest? Tie something to the plug on the end so that when you pull the stalk out it pulls that line with it. Then you can tape the new plug to that line and use it to pull the plug back through the column. Actually, tying two lines to your old plug may not be a bad idea either. That way if you break one pulling the new plug down you have a redundancy system in place!
just did mime last nite. my wire was pinched,could not pull it up or down. i used a thin stiff piece of hanging wire to fish a string thru the colum. fish it down. take off the "crotch cooler" panel under the dash. tape it up good,its a tight fit. spray a bunch of wd40 down the stalk hole. i left the pull string in there for next time.:D
Plug the new stalk into the connection under the dash with the wire loose and test it before you go through the trouble of pulling the wire through the column. Sucks when you intsall a new stalk and wire only to find out something else was wrong or the new stalk is bad also!