On a recent episode of The Wrestling Inc. Daily, Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman sat down with Erza “The Judge” Nduka, formerly known as Ezra Judge. Hausman asked Nduka if he had a close relationship with Triple H.
“Not really close. It was kind of like a ‘hi, bye, hello sir’ type deal,” Nduka noted. “We really work close with the Performance Center coaches. Hunter, we see him here and there, but mainly, on TV days, he’s always so busy. He knew who I was. I knew who he was, but it wasn’t like, I sat down and just had a full length conversation. Although, I would love to, but I understand the nature of the business and how certain people are busy, and they’re helping the stars that are on TV right now.”
Nduka’s WWE release was reportedly a shock to many. He spoke on what the locker room environment in NXT was like.
“It’s very different. Especially at the PC, there’s so many people at the PC,” Nduka pointed out. “I didn’t even get a locker till maybe more than halfway through my venture, and then when I finally did, I was all excited about it. I was like, ‘Dang, I finally got a locker. I finally feel like a pro athlete now.’ The locker room was dope. It was good energy, good vibes. When I finally got in the locker room, [Adam] Cole was one of the locker room leaders.
“[Johnny] Gargano, [Tomasso] Ciampa, Damian Priest, Oney [Lorcan] and the boys, they’re all cool. I’ve never had an issue with any of them. I would just listen. I would just sit there, listen to their stories, listen to how they call the matches. I would try to absorb as much detail as I possibly could, and I just would think in my head, ‘Okay, when I’m in this position, this is how I’ll do it,’ or look at the ones that are really doing well and just kind of emulate what they’re doing and fine tune it and kind of add it to my own repertoire.”
Nduka then revealed whether or not AEW was ever a topic of conversation in NXT. He also gave his thoughts on the Wednesday Night War.
“No, nobody really talked about that stuff,” Nduka revealed. “One of the things that I know for myself is you can’t stay in your lane when you’re looking at somebody else’s lane. You start to veer into their lane. I know as a group, we were just focused on putting on the best product possible, and everybody just showed up every day and gave it their best. I honestly never heard of any comparisons or anything. I’ve always watched AEW. I like AEW. I like all wrestling.
“Wrestling is for everybody, and it’s a different product than WWE, but that’s good. I’ve said it maybe five times already, competition breeds greatness. I know they watch us. We watch them, and why not? It’s all wrestling. Everybody’s doing what they love, and it’s fun. And we got to remember this is for the fans, the audience. We are performing for them, and so when you get caught up in ‘this is this, blah blah blah,’ it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, you just got to deliver the best product and come with it.”
Nduka made an appearance on NXT TV during a Cameron Grimes – Ted DiBiase segment and Hausman asked how close he was to a formal in-ring debut.
“I was always pitched, ‘Maybe we’ll do this storyline. We’ll do this, we’ll do that,'” Nduka noted. “But the underlying thing was always, ‘Oh, we’ve got to protect you. We’ve got to bring you out at the right time because a guy like you, we can’t just throw you out there. We have to do this.
“We have to do that, so it was one of those things where when they asked me to do something, I was super excited, and I gave it my all, but a lot of people don’t even know when they’re debuting till honestly the day before. You just never know. So it’s one of those things where you have to stay ready, so you don’t have to get ready, and that’s a lot of the reasons why I used to watch the TV classes because I would want to see what they did and how they did it. So when I had my opportunity, I was ready.”
You can follow EJ on Twitter @EJTheJudge. You can find EJ’s full interview below: