During a recent interview with ViBe & Wrestling, the former WWE United States Champion Damian Priest talked about the evolution of his character from NXT to the main roster. Priest noted the direction he is aiming for when presenting the newer version of his split-personality gimmick.
“The idea I had had until now was to help others, as I did with Bad Bunny, Humberto, Sheamus, and even with the problems I’ve had with Lashley because of Goldberg’s son, and I think it’s time to focus on myself and that is the change,” Priest said. “What happens is that not everyone liked that and now I’m focused on my career, and there were fans who changed their opinion of me. They considered me a ‘guardian angel’, and now that has been broken and I am going to be a little different, a little rougher, a little meaner, and I am going to enjoy it”.
Priest was already a seasoned in-ring performer when he got signed by WWE, spending years and years training with stars like Matt Riddle and QT Marshall. But upon arriving on the main roster, it became less about the in-ring work and more character-oriented.
“The way [Vince McMahon] explained it was perfect,” Damian noted. “It is clear that I am a wrestler and that I am a professional and that is why I trained for, but I am a WWE Superstar and that is something else. Anyone can be a wrestler but there is only one place where you can be a WWE Superstar and that is obviously in WWE. For me, that was the dream, I always wanted to be a Superstar and I love that the nickname or name that he gives us is that one because it is special, and we deserve a name like that.”
Back when he was finding his footing in NXT, one of Priest’s greatest mentors, Triple H, gave him some advice that he feels changed the trajectory of his career. Once he allowed himself to relax and be himself on television, Priest believes his career truly took off.
“What changed my life was when Triple H told me: ‘I want to see the person I’m seeing here in the ring. When you’re between the ropes you’re playing the role of a wrestler but I don’t want that, I want to see someone else. When you learn to be yourself, you will have an amazing career.’ When he told me that, I didn’t understand because I thought, ‘How is that? How are you telling me that I don’t know how to be myself?’
“Until one day, I realized what he was saying and I understood everything. I don’t know why but it’s hard to be yourself in front of the camera because it changes the way you talk, the way you walk, everything, and the day came when I relaxed and began to enjoy myself. Every day that I go on stage, I am enjoying my tempo, even when I take hits, I enjoy it, so for me, that was the best advice”.
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