Damian Priest's journey to WWE and NXT included multiple rejections from WWE.
Although he is a featured superstar on NXT television, Priest did admit that he had to basically reinvent himself when he first reported to the WWE Performance Center in 2018, but says he is in the best shape of his life.
“The times when I was overlooked, I’ve used that to fuel me. WWE turned me down twice in the last five years. I thought I’d never have the chance to work here. Then, a year later, my contract was up with Ring of Honor, and I got a phone call from WWE. Since starting in late 2018, the Performance Center has me in the best shape of my life, I feel like a rookie all over again, and I’m excited for everything to come,” Priest told Sports Illustrated.
Priest recently was in a fatal four-way match on NXT with the other three participants being Keith Lee, Dominik Dijakovic and Cameron Grimes. Priest is arguably the least known person among the quartet and not a mainstream star when he was first signed by WWE after a run with Ring of Honor. Priest says him not being a well-known wrestler when he first entered NXT actually works to his advantage.
“I am one of the least known people here, but when I do what I’m capable of and show out, it works to my advantage. That’s the first impression people have of me, and I’m going to make that last," Priest said.
Priest ended up losing the fatal four-way with Lee picking up the victory and a shot at Roderick Strong's NXT North American Championship.