Can you walk us through how the conversation of you coming to NXT began?
It came about because I’m good friends with Road Dogg and Billy Gunn. They put it in Triple H’s ear that I was free and clear of all contracts, to see if there’s some interest there. I actually called Road Dogg to see if it was OK that I went up to the NXT Nashville show not too long ago. He said, “Yeah, just try to stay out of sight.” So, I stayed in the locker room. There were reports that I was sitting in the front row at an NXT show, and I didn’t deny that I was there. I just said, “I saw the reports and I’m sorry, but that was not me sitting in the front row.” [Laughs.]
Then, [WWE Performance Center Head Coach] Matt Bloom pulled me aside and asked if I was available to come down that Wednesday and Thursday to Orlando. I went down and talked to Triple H at the NXT TakeOver: Respect special. Then the next night, he asked if I was willing to appear, and I said yes.
A lot of people probably thought they’d never see the day when you’d be in an NXT ring. Did you ever feel that way?
No. I was actually really good friends with Dusty Rhodes, and he told me long ago, “You’ll know when it’s your time.” I’ve had a couple chances to come to WWE before, but I just didn’t feel like it was my time yet. I just had to wait for the right timing, and I feel like this was it. I felt like I had done all I could do, and it was my time to prove myself on a big stage.
The million-dollar question: When will we see you back in NXT or even WWE?
That’s the million-dollar question. That’s not really up to me. My job is to go out and get myself over, as they say. And it’s up to what we call “the suits” to make the decision of whether to bring me back to NXT or the WWE main roster. I get so many people all the time saying, “We want to see you and Bray Wyatt go at it on the microphone.” I always say that you never know what’s going to happen in wrestling. And I just take one day at a time.
You can read the entire interview here.