Arturo Ruas was supposed to be a member of Diamond Mine.
The former NXT talent was released by WWE on June 25, just three days after the long-teased faction debuted on television. In an upcoming interview with The Wrestling Inc. Daily podcast, Ruas (name Adrian Jaoude) commented on the reports that he and Marina Shafir were originally slated to be part of the group.
“When I did my match with Kushida, I knew that the storyline of that match would be leading to me being a part of Malcolm Bivens’ group,” Jaoude revealed. “It wasn’t Diamond Mine yet. I was supposed to be in that group, and then I got injured. I got surgery on my bicep, and things kind of stopped, but I healed. I got cleared, and everything started to run again. That’s where Diamond Mine came up. It would be a group of legit fighters with legit backgrounds."
Ruas continued on to explain how he was told he'd debut with the group a later date but that same weekend was given his release.
“I always was and I am still a hard-working man. I worked my ass off. I worked a lot and not just because I want to improve my technique, but I wanted to always be sharp, to be able to deliver a good show because people are paying the tickets. People want to see a good show, and I don’t want to disappoint the people. People are paying to see what they want to see, and that’s why I worked my ass off, and then I started to work more and more and I got more in shape. And I did my gear and things started to kind of move a little bit weirdly. They cancelled one date. They pushed it to another date," he said.
“Not just for me, the group itself and then they cancelled another date, and they cancelled a big date supposed. And finally, they were like, okay, it will be this day. I was like, let’s go. The group were talking together, and then days before, not weeks — they billed it on Tuesday. I got a call Saturday. ‘Hey man, we’re putting you off now, but you’re going to be on soon. I felt like something’s weird, something’s off here. I was like, ‘Hey, let me know more. What’s happening?’ They said, ‘No, nothing’s happening. You’re good. You’re going to be on later because if you debut altogether, it won’t make sense, but in the future, you’re going to be there. That’s it.’ The same week, bye-bye.”
After three months of anticipation, The Diamond Mine was officially unveiled on the June 22 episode of NXT. Led by Malcolm Bivens, the group consists of Roderick Strong, Tyler Rust, and Hideki Suzuki. Their "debut" came when Strong - flanked by Rust and Suzuki - attacked Kushida following his match with Kyle O'Reilly. Bivens then entered the ring to say, "this is Diamond Mine" before handing Strong the NXT Cruiserweight Championship.
h/t Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.