Speaking of character, when we see you perform, you come off as a pretty laid-back guy. Where does your demeanor come from?
"That's just exactly who I am. When I first started, I had a mullet and I was trying to play a hillbilly persona. While it was fun, it wasn't me. I decided the best move was just to be me and turn it up a little bit. I'm 100-percent me when I'm out there. Sometimes I feel like I shouldn't even be getting paid because I'm just being myself all the time."
You've had a few months now to settle into the NXT lifestyle. What has it been like for you to train at the WWE Performance Center?
"Dude, it's awesome. Before I got to NXT, I was lucky to get a couple days in a gym, let alone a ring. I was flying from Florida to Germany, Germany to England, England to Boston, Boston to California, then back to Pennsylvania where I'd sleep for a few days, and then be somewhere like Iowa or Indiana next. Now I get to train full-time and learn from the best coaches in the world. I went from doing push-ups on a wrestling mat in my house when I had spare time to training with the best of the best. It's a good feeling."
What message do you have for the people who are watching you live the dream in this world we call sports-entertainment?
"I wanna take over and change the game. If you don't know who I am, by the end of my match you will. By the end of my match, you'll be saying "Bro" just like everyone else around you."