Here are some highlights:
Comparing where he was on last year's WrestleMania weekend to this year's:
"Absolutely, I thought about it all the time. You know, last year at this point, really on the fence and not really knowing what my future really held for me. Obviously, being in Dallas for WrestleMania weekend was a huge eye opener for me and one of the things that, at this point last year didn't have was passion for the business and I really wanted to get that back. Being in Dallas last year, being at NXT Takeover: Dallas and being apart of WrestleMania weekend and taking it all in was very refreshing and was an opportunity for me to get that excitement back again and get that passion back in me to do what I love to do. From sitting in the front row watching Shinsuke Nakamura's debut that night, now 365 days later, walking into NXT Takeover: Orlando on WrestleMania weekend, in the main event, as the champion, defending it against Shinsuke is pretty wild."If conversations between him and WWE began before WrestleMania 32 weekend:
"Very small prior to that. There was only about a week or two from the time I left TNA to WrestleMania weekend so they were very minor talks. When I got to Dallas, I had a quick conversation with Triple H, nothing was concrete so I kind of just took in everything that was there and met with some of the guys and got to reconnect with some of the guys like Samoa Joe and Austin Aries at the time who I've worked with in the past. Just kind of get a feel for everything and then obviously, I really and truly felt like that was the place I needed to be and fortunately for me, I was getting the opportunity and here we are 365 days later."Learning the WWE system and his goals in the company:
"Honestly, to be the face of a brand is pretty special. I think anybody in this business that hasn't had that opportunity would give their right arm to be in my shoes. So, it is a great opportunity, I am enjoying every minute of it, don't get me wrong but obviously, I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to go to the main roster. Obviously, that is the goal for everybody and that is the way the system works. Hopefully, one day, I'll be on Monday Night Raw or SmackDown Live but right now I am very happy and quite content being in a leadership role and being the champion in NXT and being able to main event shows and be in the ring with top guys and continue to learn. I mean, it's a learning curve for me too, I've been in the business for almost two decades but you know, the WWE is a different animal and I'm continuing to learn the system and learn different things and learn things that were never taught to me before. Just the small minor things but the minor things that mean a lot in this industry and in your performance. The goal is to one day be at WrestleMania, to main event a WrestleMania so I think you have to continue to have goals in your career and not just be happy where you're at. But right now, when you look at it, 365 days ago, I'm sitting there as a fan in the front row and now I'm the world champion, main eventing the biggest Takeover of all time so couldn't be happier.
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