Apollo Crews appeared on WWE’s After The Bell podcast, talking about his ability to stay strong during his struggles on the WWE main roster.
Crews (real name Sesugh Uhaa) debuted on Monday Night RAW in 2016, after a 2-year stint on the Yellow Brand. The 33-year-old has opened up about his time in NXT, revealing that it’s tough to say whether he should have stayed there rather than heading to the main roster.
He said that getting the call from Triple H saying he’d be called up to the main roster isn’t something anybody in his position would have turned down.
The last 5-6 years, when you look back people ask me would I have stayed in NXT and it’s not something that I can be like whatever, no I wouldn’t because I don’t know what would’ve happened if I stayed. Would I have even got the opportunity to even come to the main roster? Would I have been fired? I don’t know. It’s not anything that I really want to dwell upon.
Do I wish I would have done more in NXT? Of course, I would’ve loved to have held the title.
A lot of the guys I was with were getting called up, a lot of people I would have loved to have matches with of course. I can’t sit here and dwell on the fact that my time was short there. I had fun while I was there and who’s going to pass up an opportunity when Triple H comes to you and says ‘Hey man, you are debuting on Monday Night RAW tomorrow.’
In reality, if you’re in my position, would you have been like ‘No, I want to stay in NXT.’ Not that there’s anything bad with staying in NXT at all, but here’s this opportunity like this is the dream. It’s what you worked so hard for.
Crews went on the describe how difficult he found his first moments on the “main roster”, discussing the issues he had in that he found himself constantly being the yes man.
Of course I got here [the main roster] and I was too humble. My humbleness worked against me at times. I was too happy and didn’t have the attitude of I belong here, I deserve to be here. I wasn’t relentless as far as my pursuit to be the best superstar I can be.
I kind of just took things as they came, I didn’t really challenge anything, at the time it was like whatever you guys need me to do I can do. I think that kind of worked against me.
He revealed that he’s even advising the younger talent to not make the same mistakes he did when he first joined the main roster. Take the initiative to ask questions and figure out the best path for themselves.
I look back and I see other guys coming up and dealing with the same things I did and I tell them, look man, this is the mistake I made. I can’t force you to do it, but I’m telling you do not settle, don’t wait for these opportunities to come you have to be aggressive, you have to ask questions.
Instead of looking back, okay I’m not on T.V. today, I’m just going to sit here and be on my phone, let me figure out why I’m not on T.V., what am I doing wrong? It’s not anybody else’s fault, maybe the blame shouldn’t be pointed on other people, what can you do better with yourself to make them have to put you on T.V. or make them have a spot for you regularly on T.V.
I see a lot of it now and I’m like guys, I can tell you from experience you don’t want to get caught up doing what I was doing.
Even after the tough few years of adjusting, Apollo Crews stuck to his guns and is now being rewarded for the constant improvements he makes to himself and his character. On Friday Night SmackDown he is currently in a feud with Big E for the Intercontinental Championship and looks to be in the highest gear of his career.
Apollo Crews will face Big E at the WWE Fast Lane PPV this coming Sunday to see who walks towards WrestleMania as the Intercontinental Champion. Follow Inside the Ropes for all of the build up before the PPV.
h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.