Damian Priest has spoken candidly about his struggles as he tried to make it as a wrestler, including a period of his life where he had to sleep on the streets.
The Archer Of Infamy is now the WWE United States Champion after winning the title from Sheamus at SummerSlam. That came in the same year that Priest joined the WWE main roster and was in a heavily featured match at WrestleMania where he teamed with rap superstar Bad Bunny.
However, in conversation with Superluchas.com Damian Priest explains that these good times are a result of a long, arduous struggle to make it in pro wrestling:
“Mine was a long road to wrestling and it wasn’t easy. For me, if you really want to be a wrestler in your life, you have to try one hundred percent. I was fifty percent with wrestling and suffered a lot for many years. I lived on the street for a few months because I had no money at all. I lived on the street, I slept on the street, and I was homeless and looking for how to eat. Even having work, I suffered. I tried to pay rent, sometimes I did not know what I was going to eat the next day. I kind of gave up wrestling and started working in nightclubs and earned money.”
“I worked as a bouncer, and then I was manager of several nightclubs and strip clubs and I was very fat. I lost about 160 pounds, but I almost gave up wrestling. I didn’t see that I had a future there. However, one day one of the nightclub, owners told me that he was going to give me more work and more money but that I had to stop doing that wrestling thing that I did on weekends. So, I don’t know how, but I said, ‘No, I better quit. This is my two-week notice.’ Although I quickly said, ‘Oh sh*t! What did I do?’ But that was the moment when I dedicated myself one hundred percent to trying to achieve my dream.”
Damian Priest then explains the worst thing he was told on his road to WWE stardom as it put him on “sleep mode:”
“Nobody was going to work for my dream and that was the problem, I thought that everyone was going to help me. And the worst thing was that everyone told me: “Don’t worry, with your size, you will be a great star.” That was the worst thing I ever heard, I put myself on a ‘sleep mode’ and I didn’t work for my dreams. I jumped right in and thank God it turned out well. I changed my life to positive, I started exercising, and it was actually the first time in my life that I got into a gym. And that was in 2012, less than 10 years ago… Being homeless was my normal life at the time, so I was just trying to find a way to eat and find a place to sleep. It wasn’t a long time but a couple of months went by where I had nowhere to go, and then some friends helped me. I stayed at their houses for a few weeks and so on until I managed to get up, find a job, and rent an apartment, but it was not easy.”