Despite being released from NXT, one former top star says they’re still in regular contact with Triple H and Shawn Michaels.
During his time in NXT, Dexter Lumis became one of the most featured performers on the show as part of The Way. His on-screen relationship with Indi Hartwell proved to be one of the most entertaining stories of the year, culminating in a wedding on the debut episode of NXT 2.0 after it was rebranded from the black and gold brand.
However, the star was shockingly released from the company in April alongside Persia Pirotta and Dakota Kai. With Kai’s recent return to WWE and Triple H now serving as head of creative, speculation abounds as to whether or not we might see more released stars returning to the company.
Speaking to Tommy Dreamer on the House of Hardcore podcast, the former Dexter Lumis (now known as Sam Shaw) spoke about how his relationship with Triple H changed following one of his matches with Damian Priest.
“One night, I had a match with Damian Priest and it was the main event on TV. Hunter came up to me after the match and said, ‘great job.’ I asked him, ‘Are you comfortable putting me in that position more often?’ He was like, ‘You’ve proven that you are an attraction here and if we need you to step up and be in the main event, you’re a guy we can rely on.’
“Him telling me that I’m an attraction has always been in the back of my mind. That’s so cool, to be an attraction. If you’re not on TV for a few weeks and people somewhat forget about you, and then you pop up out of nowhere, that’s like the coolest stuff. Those are things I think back on very fondly.”
Continuing, Sam Shaw revealed that he’s still in regular contact with both Triple H and Shawn Michaels and praised Michaels in particular for giving helpful advice even when they weren’t actively training.
“I had a great relationship with Shawn Michaels and Triple H. I owe those guys a lot. We still text to this day and I have a great relationship with those guys. I learned so much from them, it’s insane.
“Another thing that made the three-plus years at NXT such a useful thing to me. The in-between stuff, when you’re not necessarily working, Shawn would always sit there and watch tape with you and be like, ‘Right here, you should be moving. You should be doing something, even if it feels awkward. Do something here.’
“Once I started applying those things and he saw it, I feel like that’s when he started being like, ‘Sam Shaw, you can put him anywhere.’ I always wanted to be that. Be an attraction or someone you can rely on.”
The former Dexter Lumis also reflected on his time in NXT as a whole, saying that it did so much for him and has led to meaningful interactions with his fans.
“Three plus years at that place really did so much for me. It’s afforded me the luxury to be able to go out to Spokane, Washington, and get a nice payday and be received by those fans like I was something special. They remember those moments and the way I presented my character. I can’t tell you how many people came up and were like, ‘Your stuff is so different your approach, always staying in character.’ That means so much to me that I was able to do that and give that reaction to the fans.”