In just over a year on the brand, Aleister Black is already the face of NXT. Prior to signing with WWE and becoming a top star in NXT from the jump, Black made his name in Europe working as Tommy End.
Appearing on the Sam Roberts Wrestling Podcast, the NXT champion spoke about his time in Europe and whether he felt he needed to come to America to truly prove himself.
"I was in a good spot (in Europe). I also know that WWE knew that. We had to talk for a bit, but it was all positive and all good. There was a lot of respect for my prior career.
"My market was never really the United States. My market was Japan and Europe and I was very happy with my market being Japan and Europe. What I did in America, I'm very proud of, but it wasn't my defining fight. The United State was not the hill that I was dying on. I was more than content with what I was doing and where I was going."
He continued by saying the offer to join WWE/NXT was "almost like a curveball."
Black believed that, while he had the look, his lack of size would ultimately hold him back.
"Never in a million years would I think that WWE was like, 'You know what, he would actually suit us.' Had I thought about the idea prior to coming to WWE? Yeah, I had. But I was always like, 'WWE wouldn't want to have me. Because that was always my mindset. I was going to focus on what was attainable, because for me, going to WWE was never attainable."
Black went to to say that he focused on himself, not what he thought WWE was looking for.
He kept that mentality heading into his NXT TakeOver: New Orleans title match with Andrade "Cien" Almas saying, "My goal is to obtain the championship. That's what I'm competing for. I'm not competing for Match of the Year.
"I don't look at what other people do and go, 'Oh, I gotta top that.' No. I gotta do me."
Doing him worked in his match with Almas as he went on to capture the NXT belt in New Orleans.
When asked if he was ready to jump to the main roster, Black said, "I'm good wherever I go."
He's doing just fine in NXT at the moment.