Formerly known as Uhaa Nation, Crews competed in his first WWE match at an NXT live event in June 2015. At the time, it was not uncommon for WWE’s stars of the future to spend two or more years in NXT before appearing on RAW and/or SmackDown. In Crews’ case, Triple H informed him of his call-up to the main roster in April 2016, just 10 months after his debut.
The former Titus Worldwide member discussed his WWE career on the latest episode of Corey Graves’ After The Bell podcast. He acknowledged that many people have said he received his call-up too early on in his WWE career. In the circumstances, however, he felt he could not reject Triple H’s offer.
"Who’s gonna pass up an opportunity when Triple H comes to you and says, ‘Hey, man, you’re debuting on Monday Night RAW tomorrow.’ Or [people say], ‘You should have stayed in NXT.’"
Crews explained that, in reality, everyone who says he should have stayed in Triple H’s NXT would have done exactly what he did. He added that working for WWE was his dream, which meant he was never going to turn down the opportunity to perform on RAW.
Apollo Crews on leaving Triple H’s NXT and finding his new WWE character
Apollo Crews recently turned heel by attacking Big E on WWE SmackDown. The one-time United States Champion has also debuted a new gimmick based on his Nigerian roots. He believes his old WWE persona was not getting him enough opportunities, which is why he worked on changing his character.
“I had to first learn that maybe it’s me, maybe I got complacent. I’m just literally sitting, coming in, getting paid. ‘Oh, I’m happy to get paid.’ You know what I mean? But that wasn’t enough for me. I came here to be one of the best, if not the best. I can’t end my career knowing that I didn’t at least try.”
The biggest achievement of Crews’ WWE career so far came in May 2020 when he defeated Andrade on RAW to win the United States Championship.
Please credit Corey Graves’ After The Bell podcast and give a H/T to SK Wrestling for the transcription if you use quotes from this article.