WWE NXT Superstar Damian Priest recently spoke with Sporting News and talked about how his unique entrance came to be, and how he took his ideas to Triple H. Priest said as a kid he was inspired by the entrances of The Undertaker and WWE Hall of Famer The Ultimate Warrior.
"When I was kid and fell in love with this business, it had nothing to do with the coolest move in the world or anything," Priest said when asked about his entrance. "For me, it was the spectacle, the idea of we can be perceived as something bigger than just your neighbor. I've always kept that, even when I worked in other companies, I always made sure that my presence was felt a little differently than everybody else. There's no shortage of good pro wrestlers and good entertainers. There's so many of them nowadays. But I've always been adamant about the way I was presented. I wanted to make sure it was special every time. I didn't want somebody to turn on the TV midway through an entrance and change the channel. I wanted them to be intrigued without me even performing yet in the ring. That's how I feel in love with the business.
"Back in the day, I watched The Undertaker's entrance, I watched The Ultimate Warrior's entrance and I was intrigued without even knowing what they were going to do in the ring. It was mesmerizing and I wanted to make sure that was a part of what my presentation was. I had a writeup of ideas that I brought to Triple H. He was super cool, didn't turn down any ideas, he just morphed them to make them better and was very adamant about — in agreement with me about — that my presentation had to be unique and special because there's no shortage of guys that can go in the ring. This company, especially our brand, it's known for our go, go, go, in-ring style so that's not an issue. The issue was creating something that stood out a little bit differently and created something a little more special which I've tried to do my entire career no matter where I worked. Here, with the production team we have, we're able to do it in a way cooler way and I was excited.
"That was one of the things I was most excited about when I signed on to come to work here was the idea, the possibilities of presentation and how I could really get people's attention without even having to throw a punch. It was exciting and then, when we actually did it, it's my favorite thing. All the time when we go over things and ideas and I'm like as long as I have a full entrance, whatever you guys need me to do and everybody starts laughing because that, to me, is so important, the presentation aspect. I'm proud of what we've been able to do and the way it's perceived. People dig it and I'm glad because we worked hard at it."
"My in-ring work, in general, and concept of this business has completely changed," Priest said when asked how it's been having HBK as one of his coaches. "This is my 16th year and I feel like I've learned more in the past year than I have in the first 15 because, obviously, with the brains of those two guys, it's invaluable the amount of knowledge they have and not necessarily wanting to change you, just making what you do better which is the main philosophy that I learned there which is really cool.
"It's been amazing and just the idea that I used to watch these guys on TV on a weekly basis and now, I'm texting and messaging them and picking their brains any time I want. It's insane."