WWE star Damian Priest was recently interviewed by Sports Illustrated to hype tonight’s edition of Monday Night Raw, and celebrate the former NXT North American champion’s call-up to the main roster. Highlights can be found below.
Says the Royal Rumble is his favorite PPV:
Leading up to it, I’d heard, “Be ready just in case.” There was never a specific guarantee, which I understood because nothing is guaranteed in this business—things can change in an instant. I stayed ready, and I was so excited when I found out for sure. It was official by that Thursday. Ever since I was a kid, the Royal Rumble has been my favorite pay-per-view. It’s extremely cool that’s where I got to have my debut, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t extremely nervous beforehand.
What it has meant to have Triple H and Shawn Michaels in his corner:
I am super grateful. They are stars, but they’ve also been instrumental in helping me reach this level. I couldn’t have written this any other way. My past, all the time it took to get here, I wouldn’t change anything. Ultimately, that’s what led me to where I am. I firmly believe this was the best way for me, from all those years in the indies, trying to figure it out, to now being stamped a WWE guy. It took time to get here. When I started with WWE, I felt like a rookie again. I needed to put the work in. All that wasn’t for nothing. I am very grateful, and I won’t take anything for granted. There is still a lot more for me to accomplish.
What he’ll miss most about his peers in NXT:
I think a lot of people will be happy I’m not shooting fake arrows at them anymore. [Laughs.] There is a lot I’m going to miss, but I said this to a lot of the boys and girls last week, it’s not like I’m going far away. I’m off on Wednesdays; I can still work out with people on Thursdays. So it’s not like people won’t ever see me again. My friendships aren’t going to change. There are plenty of coaches and performers I am in constant touch with, too, and that’s not going to change, either.
On his main roster call-up:
This is the dream. It’s been my dream since I was a child, and what excites me the most is I’m starting all over again. I’m a beginner on Raw. I had that feeling when I first started in this business, and again when I started in NXT. And the icing on the cake is this roster here, which is the absolute best in the world. Edge, Drew McIntyre, Randy Orton, Keith Lee, The Fiend [Bray Wyatt]. Those are the people I get to work with on Raw.
Who he’s excited to work with:
I’ve tried to make a list, and I started with the guys up top, like Drew, Randy, Edge and Bray, because that’s where I want to be. Then I kept adding names, and I kept adding names. I realized that I was including most of the roster, so I just stopped. This roster is stacked, and I want to work with everyone. Selfishly, I want to work with the top attractions, and anybody who says otherwise in this business is lying. The top stars in the world are here, and that’s what I want to be.
Why fans should believe in him:
It’s one thing to get here; it’s another to stay. I’m not complacent. I’ll never stop. I’m always going to strive to achieve more. If you think you’ve seen something cool from me, remember that you’re eventually going to see something even better. I’m never, ever satisfied, and I always want more. That’s where my whole “Live Forever” mantra comes from. It’s the way I live my life. I want my name to stand the test of time, and I have to accomplish so much in order for my name to live forever. Now I get the chance to get started on Raw, and I can’t wait to show people something they’ve never seen before.