Posts Tagged ‘NXT’

Eli Drake was recently interviewed by The Mirror. Below are some highlights:

His WWE tryout in 2008:

“When I was on the indies back in 2008, I had an opportunity with WWE when I went in and did a dark match and they liked me and wanted me to come back the next week. And here’s the part where I shot myself in the foot, I showed up an hour late on that second day, due to some circumstances, and after that, they didn’t talk to me for about three years. I was put on a blacklist. I didn’t even end up getting to WWE into developmental until my tenth year in [the business] and a lot of that again, some of that was me, some of that was politics, but a lot of it was BS. So, it’s a little frustrating every time I think about it, it kind of bites me in the ass every day, but at the same time, it’s also kind of what drives me.”

You mentioned your WWE dark matches – you defeated Yoshi Tatsu in a dark match at NXT’s October television tapings in October 2013…

“Ah no, that was when I was already with WWE actually, my dark match in 2008 was me and [Gene] Snitsky against Cryme Tyme [in WWE’s ECW]. The Yoshi Tatsu thing was just kind of thrown on me last minute and that was a hell of an experience. At the time – I think they were just messing with us half the time. Bill DeMott [former head coach of WWE’s Performance Center] came back and grabbed me five minutes before the match was supposed to happen. He said ‘are you ready?’ and I was like ‘yeah’ and he said ‘alright, it’s you and Yoshi, hurry up’. ‘Okay’. Ha ha. I put my stuff on and went out there and had a match. And believe me, it was a stinker. It was terrible.

“That whole run at NXT, it was great and terrible at the same time. I enjoyed it, I made a lot of friends from it, I actually liked being on some of the workout programmes they had us doing there, you’re able to stay crisp by staying in the ring four or five days a week, but at the same time, it was a lot of BS, especially with Bill DeMott there. But from what I gather now with him out of the picture, it sounds like things have changed for the better there. Hopefully the guys are enjoying it more.”

If he sees himself staying with Impact Wrestling, or going to WWE or elsewhere:

“It really depends. I am looking at all my options. I am very grateful for the opportunities Impact have given me and putting me on the stage they have put me on. I also have grown my bank account enormously! I’m doing well on that front. So I’m very grateful for it. But at the same time, I am a businessman, I am going to look into any opportunities that are afforded to me and anybody who wants to talk and wants to throw numbers my way and anything like that, of course I am open to that. Will I stay with Impact? That’s a definite possibility. It could be a likelihood, I really don’t know. It really depends on what else is out there. But I am interested in any opportunity that comes my way, that’s for sure.”

Drake also discussed his recent success, feuding with Drew McIntyre, becoming World Champion and more. You can check out the full interview by clicking here.


Peyton Royce was recently a guest on Chasing Glory with Lilian Garcia. During the interview, she discussed how she became interested in the professional wrestling business.

Royce grew up in Sydney, Australia and came from a dancing background. She said she was 13 years old when she realized she wanted to become a wrestler, and she revealed that it was the legendary Eddie Guerrero who inspired her to pursue a career in the industry.

“It never crossed my mind that I can do that. I hate that it comes back into my head, but it was the day Eddie Guerrero died. That was it for me. I used to pray at night and tell him that I was going to do this for you because you gave me all these memories and all these feelings and I just wanted to give back to others the way you gave to me,” Royce said. “He was so charismatic. He would make me feel happy. He would make me laugh. He was so amazing to watch in the ring. He was so athletic and entertaining. I wanted to be able to speak Spanish, actually, I am taking Spanish now. I wanted to take Spanish in school because I wanted to talk like him, he was a big inspiration for my life.”

Royce also discussed her time training with veteran wrestler Lance Storm. She spent three months learning under him and she said she enjoyed every minute of it. She said Storm is who helped her get her tryout with the WWE.

“It was the best three months of my life because you get to go to another country and experience another country and get to do what you love for three months. You don’t have to work, you just go to training, go to the gym, eat some good food and you do it day in and day out. You meet people and form these relationships from people all over the world and you keep those connections. Lance [Storm] has been amazing to me ever since I have done the camp back in 2012, he’s always been such a big supporter and motivator. He is still always there for me up until this day,” Royce said. “Before I knew there was even a tryout, he knew how bad I wanted this. So, he had contacted me and said that I may want to send some of my information and he gave me an email address to send my information to possibly get a tryout. I thanked him and straight away I sent my information. I got an email back and they said that they were going to do a tryout and I was invited to it.”

Royce was recently called up from NXT to SmackDown Live. As part of The IIconics, she and Billie Kay made an immediate impact by attacking then women’s champion Charlotte. Royce said she is proud of her run in NXT and she is grateful for her new opportunity on the main roster.

“There have been so many times where I kind of reflect and think, man, I remember as a teenager dreaming about it and now I am doing it,” she said. “So many people that didn’t believe in me and thought it was a phase I was going through, I proved them wrong. It’s such a wonderful feeling.”

Last monthWWE announced the return of the UK Championship Tournament, which will take place on June 18 and 19 at Royal Albert Hall in London, England. The one-day tournament will determine the number one contender for the UK Championship. On the second day, the UK, NXT North American, NXT Women’s, and NXT Tag Titles will all be defended.

Triple H spoke with Mirror Sport about next month’s tournament where some announcements will be made about the future of the UK division.

“While we are there at this UK event at the Royal Albert Hall, we will be making some announcements about the future of the UK Championship brand there in the UK and moving forward,” Triple H said. “That brand still remains very near and dear to me and it’s something I want to move on. It’s taking a little bit longer than I anticipated in getting things done and getting them done in the way I want them to get done … but it’s happening. It will be meaningful to everybody there and I look forward to showcasing the UK talent to the world.”

In March, the Wrestling Observer Newsletter noted the idea for the UK expansion is still to do tapings for local programming, and likely WWE Network programming, and run a UK-based promotion. They also want to open up a UK Performance Center down the road with the idea of bringing UK trainers to the main WWE Performance Center in Orlando to teach them how WWE wants talents trained, and then have the UK trainers run the facility.

WWE NXT Superstar Ricochet recently spoke with Byron Saxton for the WWE website. The full interview is at this link and below are highlights:

You’ve obviously had a lot of time to hone your craft. What’s the motivation behind your innovative style?

Well, my style is a combination of all my favorite wrestlers growing up, between AJ Styles, Matt Sydal (aka Evan Bourne), Amazing Red, Jack Evans and a lot of The Rock. (Laughs) But I try to take something from all those guys and combine it into what I wanted to be inside the ring.

What is your current career goal?

Honestly, when I first started, I never thought I’d make it to the WWE. So now that I am here, my only goal is to become the best performer I can be and try to be an inspiration for my son and anyone, really, who doesn’t think their dreams are possible because of where they’re from or their circumstances. If I can inspire even one person to follow their dreams, then it will all be worth it!

What message do you have for your supporters?

I’d just like to say thank you to everyone who has supported me along the way. It’s because of you all that I am where I am and get to do what I do. I know it gets said a lot, but it gets said because it’s true. So, just thank you all so very much.

Source: WWE

WWE NXT Superstar EC3 recently spoke with Byron Saxton for the WWE website. He noted that he would like to “vanquish” John Cena at WrestleMania and said his immediate goal is the NXT Title. The full interview is at this link and below are highlights:

Who is EC3?

EC3 is the best here, the best there, the best anywhere. EC3 is The Top One Percent of this industry. EC3 is the formula for success. EC3 is a golden god, a five-star man, the prince valiant of verbiage, a million-dollar man with a billion-dollar brain and a trillion-dollar body. EC3 is an over-dog. The coolest, toughest, strongest, funniest guy who walks into any room. A literal human money-printing machine. EC3 is any litany of catchphrases that brew in his mind and spew out of his mouth. EC3 is more brand than man.

How did you develop your Top One Percent mantra?

The Top One Percent is not just a tax bracket or a way the “have nots” describe those that “have.” It’s a mindset. The Top One Percent is about having the best, and the best is what I have. In life, I have the best home, the best car, the best marine vessel. I come from the best family. I have the best education. The best taste in art, film, music and culinary delights. I have the best training, the best nutritionist, the best masseuse, the best hairstylist, the best esthetician (she’s a magician), the best therapists (both physical and mental). In the ring, I have the best cardio, the best dexterity, the best agility, the best timing, the best strikes, the best holds, the best “moveset,” whatever that is.

I have the best because I deserve the best. I deserve the best because I am the best.

How have things changed since the last time you were around these parts?

Upon my return at NXT TakeOver: Philadelphia, I came to the realization that, after all these years, I know who I am, and there is victory in that. I have been through professional and personal hells. In the past, I was misguided. I was happy I got to live my dream as my profession and be one of the boys. Enjoy time with friends and family, fall in love and show up every day with a smile on my face and a good attitude. I was satisfied with just working really hard, and if it’s not my time, well, we’ll get them next time! I was optimistic and lost. Now I take everything personally. This is a ruthless world, and one must be ruthless to cope with it. I do not have a dream; I have a vision. I do not seek happiness. I seek success. The only comfort I get in life is victory, after victory, after victory.

Source: WWE

As the first-ever NXT North American Champion, Adam Cole is an important part of the future of NXT. He was recently on the Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast and discussed how he feels about being one of the superstars who will carry the roster for the next few months.

Cole was one of the most popular independent wrestlers in the world before he signed with NXT in 2017. His popularity has only grown since then, and he said he gets recognized a lot more when he’s in public.

“It’s definitely a lot more since starting with NXT,” Cole said. “Even post-Royal Rumble definitely more often that people come up to me asking to take a picture with me and wanting an autograph. It just shows the scale at how many people do watch WWE.”

Cole won a six-man ladder match at NXT TakeOver: New Orleans to become the inaugural NXT North American Champion. As a member of The Undisputed Era with Kyle O’Reilly, Bobby Fish and Roderick Strong, Cole is also an NXT Tag Team Champion under the Freebird Rule, making him the first double-champion in NXT history. With members of the NXT roster getting called up to the main roster after WrestleMania, Cole knows he will be an integral part of NXT’s future and he accepts the pressure of being one of the brand’s cornerstone superstars. He said he’s motivated to be as good as the previous generation of NXT superstars.

“There absolutely is that pressure. Any time guys move to Raw and SmackDown, I think that is what has kept NXT so relevant and has kept the fans so invested because they are now conditioned that whoever leaves or comes in, NXT, as a product, is going to give really exciting sports entertainment every time,” he said. “You do have your different generation of guys, and those generations before did an excellent job, so it does put pressure on guys like me, Aleister [Black], Bobby [Fish] and Kyle [O’Reilly], and everyone else involved in NXT now. I think that is when guys are at their best, when you put pressure and have something to work towards and have something to compare yourself to, or try to best them, it really does make you better.”

Liv Morgan spoke with earlier this month before WrestleMania 34. The full interview is at this link and below are highlights:

Her run in WWE NXT:

“I spent three years in NXT doing whatever I could to be better and be noticed. It was a lot of hard work and proving yourself. So, I don’t want to say it was quick. Looking back, it feels like it was a blink of an eye, and it’s amazing. It’s been amazing to come from WWE Performance Center and now to be on SmackDown Live. Thinking about that itself is insane, because it doesn’t feel real.”

Wanting it all on SmackDown:

“I want to be the SmackDown women’s champion. I want to be the longest-reigning SmackDown women’s champion. I don’t set a limit for myself. I want the respect. Who doesn’t want it all?”

Growing up after her father passed away when she was very young, being a role model like her own role model – WWE Hall of Famer Lita:

“I grew up in an unstable environment. If you look at my life on paper, I shouldn’t be here. WWE was the only thing that made me and my brothers happy. Watching Lita, I’d see this red-haired chick with baggy pants and sneakers, and she’s wrestling with the boys and is a tomboy. I was such a tomboy growing up. I liked baggy pants and sneakers. Even today, I wear tights and wear sneakers. Just looking at Lita, I felt like she could be my friend. She was someone I related to. That’s all I want to do for girls growing up. I want them to see me and think, ‘Liv can be my friend.’

“So, if I’m anyone’s role model, it’d be very cool. I don’t try to be anything I’m not. I’m just myself. If I can relate to anyone, or they can relate to me, it’d make me very happy.”