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Damian Priest Says He Was Told If He Messed Up His Opportunity, He Was Done

May 12, 2021 | Posted by Joseph Lee
Damian Priest NXT Takeover 31 WWE

In an interview with Sporting News, Damian Priest spoke about getting the opportunity to work on the main roster and with Bad Bunny, noting that he was warned against making a mistake. Here are highlights:

Damian Priest on finding out he was debuting at the Royal Rumble: “It was around New Year’s Evil in NXT, I was leading up to a match with Karrion Kross. Triple H pulled me aside backstage and said ‘hey man, I just want to let you know you’re gonna debut at the Royal Rumble’. In my head I was like the Royal Rumble that’s so cool, but I thought I was just going to be the NXT talent that gets to be a part of the Royal Rumble. He said ‘I’m not sure which brand you’re gonna be on’ and I was like wait what, I’m leaving? I didn’t even know how to answer that or how to react, so I ended up asking him how he felt about it. He was like ‘well I’m happy for you’ but it was so weird because I didn’t know how to react, so many emotions hit me at once. We’re in the WWE, so we know switching brands is a given and that’s gonna happen to just about everyone at some point. When it happens, this is Raw or this is SmackDown, these are the programs since I was a kid that I’ve been watching. The Royal Rumble is my favourite pay-per-view of the year – it’s most people’s just because the thrill of who’s next, and the buzzer and the music. It’s so exciting and then it’s the road to WrestleMania. It was really cool when he told me that, and then to actually be in the Royal Rumble and the countdown and my music hitting – it was what I wanted. The feeling I had was exactly what it should have been, and I was extremely happy to have had that moment.”

On working with Bad Bunny: “(It was) mind-blowing. Every day I woke up and I thought is this really happening, where am I? The idea when it was presented to me, I had met Bad Bunny the week before the Royal Rumble and we immediately started to work out in the ring and talk and get along. I didn’t understand how it was going to work. It all came off so natural because we were legit having fun. For me, it helped because he was basically debuting and new to WWE and Monday Night Raw and the whole scene. I’m coming in, so basically I’m new, and it was cool have someone to share that experience with. We knew what each other were feeling. We were able to take the pressure off of each other because we became friends and we would laugh and joke around. The transition was really cool, and it made it really easy because of that. Having somebody that you get along with and experiencing the same thing, it definitely made the transition a lot smoother than it probably would have been. I would have been a nervous wreck – I still was, but at last he helped me feel a little bit more confident. I know I did the same for him, because he would tell me all the time.”

Damian Priest on WWE having faith in him: “Yes (it does give me confidence). It goes both ways. I can put in all the work I want, but obviously I also need the company to believe in me and have my back. A lot of people were honest with me and they told me ‘listen, you can’t blow this because if you do, you’re done’. All I said was you’re giving me the opportunity, I’m going to do everything to my abilities to knock this out of the park. I knew I had put in the work, so give me the opportunity and I will do my end. It goes both ways, and I think we both delivered so we brought our audience a product worthy of them being entertained and being happy to watch.”

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Damian Priest, Joseph Lee