Like many of his other fellow former Nexus members, PJ Black (fka Justin Gabriel) has worked hard to make a name for himself outside of WWE. Since leaving in 2015, the South African high-flyer took his talents to the international scene, and then to companies like Impact and Lucha Underground, before putting down some roots and signing with Ring Of Honor (ROH).
While Black is no stranger to NXT and WWE developmental, it's very different now than it was in his day. The former Gabriel was a performer on the first season of the original NXT in 2011 - when the show was a mix of reality TV, a game show, and sometimes even some wrestling. While he didn't go on to win, he was brought up to the main roster with the rest of the first season's cast as part of The Nexus, a group led by eventual season winner Wade Barrett.
After a while, Black's career began to stagnate a bit, as he was mostly being used on minor shows like Main Event. So, in 2015 he asked for his release, which was granted.
Black recently spoke to Joey G of Wrestling, Inc. on a variety of topics, one of which was his decision to stay with ROH:
Black revealed that he was recently offered a deal to return to NXT - now a much more respective and appealing prospect- but ultimately decided to stay with Ring Of Honor for the time being. Black said-"I had an opportunity to go back to NXT, [but], it was the same [amount of] money for 200 shows more [than in ROH], so really that was a no-brainer for me.”
He also credited the amount of Creative freedom he has, as well as having the opportunity to pursue projects outside of wrestling."[C]reative freedom in wrestling – just to be yourself [is important].”
The former 'Darewolf' (really... that was his nickname) is currently a member of the group Lifeblood. He'll be teaming with them again Villain Enterprises (Marty Scrull, Brody King, and PCO) at ROH's Best In The World 2019 on June 28th in Baltimore, MD.