While working at the Download Festival in the UK last weekend, NXT Champion Aleister Black spoke with Iain Chambers about the pressure of holding the NXT Championship, if he thought he'd get to WWE, and his finisher. Here are some of the highlights:
If WWE was his end game when he first started wrestling:
"No. When I started back in 2000 - which is now 18 years ago - WWE was the land of the giants and I am no shape or size, a giant. I'm 6-feet, 250 lbs. now, back in the day I was barely 140 lbs. and I wanted to do what was obtainable. Was I a fan of WWE? Yeah, of course, but I knew it was not going to be a thing for me, until NXT came to the foreground and a lot of my friends who I was competing against on the independent scene were getting signed. And I was like, 'Wait a minute? Something's changed.' The landscape of professional wrestling really changed when NXT was brought in."
Pressure of holding the NXT Championship:
"It's definitely a lot of pressure because the people who have held this belt, you look at Shinsuke Nakamura, Bobby Roode, Finn Balor, Samoa Joe and even traveling back to Seth Rollins and Big E, the heritage that this belt has is endless. And it's heavy, so I have a big responsibility to do right by this belt and do right by NXT."
Black Mass finisher:
"It just comes from my background in martial arts. Back in 2005/2006, I started going back to kickboxing and I just felt I needed something in my style that wasn't seen very much. ... I've never seen a spinning heel kick that went to someone's face, yeah I've seen it where they would hit the calf on the chest or like towards the face, but I've never seen someone with their heel - on the tip of their toes - connecting with someone."
You can see Black's full comments in the video above.
If you use some of the quotes in this article, please credit Ian Chambers with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.