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WWE News: Former Superstar's pitch to win the NXT Championship was rejected

Triple H is the main decision-maker in NXT
Triple H is the main decision-maker in NXT
Danny Hart
Modified 10 May 2019, 16:45 IST

What's the story?

WWE announced in February 2019 that Shawn Spears, aka Tye Dillinger, had been granted his release from the company.

Speaking in a wide-ranging interview on Edge & Christian’s ‘Podcast of Awesomeness’, Dillinger discussed his NXT feud with Bobby Roode and revealed that he once pitched an idea to win the NXT Championship.

In case you didn't know…

Tye Dillinger developed a “Perfect Ten” gimmick in NXT which proved popular with the brand’s die-hard fanbase.

In 2016-2017, he competed in four NXT TakeOver matches, facing Superstars including Andrade and Eric Young, while his most memorable rivalry came towards the end of 2016 when he was defeated by Bobby Roode at TakeOver: Toronto.

Following an appearance in the #10 spot in the 2017 Royal Rumble, Dillinger officially joined WWE’s main roster after WrestleMania 33 when he was assigned to SmackDown Live in the Superstar Shake-Up.

He went on to feature sporadically during his two years on the brand, with one of his few notable appearances coming at Hell In A Cell 2017 when he took part in a Triple Threat match with AJ Styles and Baron Corbin for the United States Championship.

After returning from a hand injury in early 2019, Dillinger asked for his release and WWE accepted his request.

The heart of the matter


After defeating Tye Dillinger at NXT TakeOver: Toronto in November 2016, Bobby Roode won the NXT Championship from Shinsuke Nakamura at NXT TakeOver: San Antonio in January 2017.

Dillinger revealed during his conversation with Edge & Christian that he pitched an idea to NXT’s decision-makers which would have seen him win the NXT Championship before losing it a few days later during a television taping.

“I did pitch an idea to win the title at a TakeOver and then lose it immediately at a TV taping that Wednesday, because it wasn’t about the title – it was about the climb, it was about the journey through and accomplishing it. It was the only title in NXT at the time and I think I was in a programme with Bobby Roode, who was champion at the time. I can’t remember exactly what it was but I just thought we had a really good feel-good story overall that we just missed taking advantage of.”

Looking back at the timeline of TakeOver events, this title change-that-never-was would presumably have taken place at TakeOver: San Antonio, with Dillinger possibly being the third man in a Triple Threat with Roode and Nakamura.

What's next?

Now competing under the name Shawn Spears, Tye Dillinger will be allowed to return to the ring later in May 2019 when his 90-day no-compete clause is over. He went on to mention during his podcast appearance that he is fully booked until August.

Published 10 May 2019, 16:45 IST
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