Damian Priest has discussed blocking out the rumours of his call-up to the main roster of WWE to focus on his career in NXT.
Priest would enter the men’s Royal Rumble match as the 14th entrant. He would last a little over 15 minutes eliminating Elias, The Miz, John Morrison and Kane. He would make his RAW debut the next night accompanied by rap star Bad Bunny and go on to defeat The Miz.
Speaking to Sportskeeda, Damian Priest explains his approach to filtering out news of any potential call-up.
“You know how it is in this business, man, like you hear things and you’re told things, but things didn’t change and being that it was that far out, you know, it’s one of those like, ‘Hey, it’s looking like’… but nobody ever wanted to just tell me straight out, because everybody said the same thing. It was like, ‘but you know how things can change, so take it as a maybe.'”
“Then there was obviously the, ‘you might be in the Rumble.’ So then there’s that, but also the same thing, ‘like that would be cool, but as of right now, I’m an NXT superstar. Let me just focus on who I want to work with next and what I want to do here.”
Priest explained it was WWE COO and NXT boss Triple H who confirmed he would be appearing in the Rumble:
“He wanted to tell me face to face and shake my hand and congratulate me. I appreciate that he was the one just cause he’s helped me so much, and he believed in me. That’s the main thing. Like he’s actually believed in me and helped me to believe that it’s okay to be myself. So I was really appreciative that he was the one and the words he said to me.”
Damian Priest would hold the NXT North American Championship during his time on the black and gold brand. He would win the vacant championship at TakeOver XXX before losing it to Johnny Gargano 2 months later.
h/t Fightful for the transcription