Damian Priest signed with WWE in 2018 after a successful run in ROH that saw him win the ROH World Television Championship and Survival of the Fittest 2017.
In ROH, he went by Punishment Martinez, though he did use Damian Martinez during the early portion of his run.
Speaking on the Metal Injections podcast, Priest discussed coming up with his NXT name and character through conversations with Triple H.
"When I was talking to Hunter about my direction, he was like, 'We can keep you as is, who are you, and what you've done, but I see more in you.' I told him, 'I don't want to be who I've been.' I've been doing that long enough and there's a reason why I'm on a bigger stage to do it now. I was willing to change. Through conversation, he was like, 'I see this. The person I'm talking to, you're cool, you're likable, and I get along with you. Let's do this on TV. Just be you.' As far as the name goes, I gave him a list of stuff. Damian goes back to when I was born. My mom wanted to name me Damian and my dad was like, 'We're not naming him after the son of the devil.' That was that. I always liked Damian and I would use it in other stuff. I used it in the Indies. [Triple H] liked the name. For a last name, my first theme song was by Judas Priest. Hunter suggested Priest. It made sense. Both names are for me and they are also opposites. It's a rockstar name. He asked me, 'Have you seen The Dirt?' Only like seven times. I loved it and love the rockstar lifestyle idea. He's like, 'That's what I want. Skip the sad and troublesome scenes,'" recalled Priest.
Priest found success in NXT, winning the NXT North American Championship before being moved to Raw following WWE Royal Rumble
Elsewhere during the interview, Priest recalled his training session with The Undertaker. You can find his full comments by clicking here.
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