“In the beginning, there was a great deal of frustration. Developmental was so different at the time. Now, I don’t even consider NXT a developmental system. It’s its own brand. So many guys were able to develop a following while in NXT. Look at guys like Finn Balor, or Kevin Owens, or even Seth Rollins in the early days. Look at the Royal Rumble. I came out at the number 10 spot, and there was a great reaction. That’s just a testament to how far NXT has come in a very short amount of time. My first time around in WWE, there wasn’t the WWE Network. We weren’t as big. It was much harder to crack through and get to the audience. There was much more of a competitive nature. It was just really hard to break through that glass ceiling. Now, we’re worldwide. NXT is worldwide. It’s still competitive to get to the WWE of course, but with that following, we want to put on a great product no matter where we are. There’s such a big difference between then and now. I wake up and thank myself every day that I was given a second opportunity.”
Who he wants to wrestle on SmackDown:
“I’ve been thinking about this, and I have a top four, in no particular order. One guy I had on the list actually just got shipped over to Raw, and he was at the top of my list, and that’s The Miz. Miz is one guy I’d like to work with, because I think we could do some pretty incredible things. At the moment though, on Smackdown, in no particular order: Tyler Breeze, Dolph Ziggler, Randy Orton and AJ Styles. Ziggler I’ve known for years. We used to work together way way back in the FCW days. Tyler Breeze is an incredible talent. I worked with him a little bit in NXT, but not to the level where I had hoped. That guy is severely underrated as a talent. AJ Styles and Randy Orton, I’ve never worked with them before. I don’t need to give you any of their accolades, the world knows them already. Those two right now are the best at what we do in this industry. They’re the top of the top.”
Current persona and “Ten” chants:
“Absolutely. When I first thought up the whole concept, I had no idea it would become what it is today. You see on Smackdown Live, or on RAW, there’s ten chants. I get sent clips on a daily basis of ten chants at various independent shows and I’m not just talking about America or Canada, I’m talking overseas. It blows my mind. That’s the beauty of our audience. Once they gravitate towards something and grasp onto something, they can take it to heights never thought possible. I surely didn’t think it would get to the point that it is now. I’m a firm believer that not many people thought it would get to this point. The beautiful thing about our audience is that if they like something they’re going to let you know, and if they don’t like something, they’re going to let you know. When I first threw out this Perfect Ten character and dipped my toes in the water with it, it started to catch on. Not at first right away, but when it did, the ball really got rolling.”
Tye Dillinger also discussed getting called up and his final match in NXT. You can read the full interview by clicking here.
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