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.