Damian Priest has officially made the jump from from NXT to Monday Night RAW. The former NXT North American Champion made his Red Brand debut this week after his surprise entrance in the Royal Rumble match.
When Priest's music hit on Sunday and he entered the Royal Rumble from the No. 14 position, it was the first time anyone had seen him since his lost to Karrion Kross at NXT: New Year's Evil.
Reports had surfaced right around the time of Priest's match with Kross that his time with NXT was coming to an end. Speaking exclusively with SK Wrestling, Damian Priest said he heard the same rumblings backstage and tried to block them out.
"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.'"
Damian Priest said that while he was playing the waiting game, his focus remained on being an NXT Superstar. He kept up with his training regimen and normal day-to-day routine to not be disappointed if plans indeed did change. However, then the backstage rumors ramped-up.
"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."
The Archer of Infamy said he found out he was officially going to be in the Royal Rumble a few days out from the event and ended up having a solid showing. He eliminated four men in just over 15 minutes, including The Miz and John Morrison.
Former Tag Team Champions The Miz and John Morrison appear to be Damian Priest's first feud on RAW after he showed up Monday to back up his friend and recording artist Bad Bunny.
Damian Priest says HHH told him the news and wanted to do it person
So often when NXT Superstars make the move to either RAW or SmackDown, it's HHH who shares the good news. It was no different with Damian Priest. The WWE Hall of Famer did inform Damian Priest once everything was 100 percent official, and made sure to do it in person.
"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 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, you know like, as far as like going forward and it was super cool."
During his conversation with SK Wrestling, Damian Priest spoke more about his time in the Royal Rumble, getting the rub from Edge and Kane, and his final NXT match against Karrion Kross. The full interview will be posted to the SK Wresting YouTube channel this weekend.
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