Damian Priest initially didn't know how to feel about his move from NXT to WWE's main roster.
Speaking with Fightful's Sean Ross Sapp ahead of SummerSlam 2021, The Archer of Infamy shared that it was Triple H who broke the news of the move to him. Even though it was a lifelong goal of his to be on Raw or SmackDown, being one of Hunter's "boys" in NXT made him unsure of how to feel about the callup.
"Triple H came up to me backstage at an NXT show. He was like, ‘Hey, man. Want to tell you how proud I am. Blah-blah-blah. You’re moving on. Looks like you’re gonna be on Monday night RAW. I’m not sure, but it’s looking like RAW. So, congrats.’ I just kinda stood there staring at him ‘cause I didn’t know what to say. I was like, am I supposed to be happy? ‘Cause I’m leaving NXT. I’m one of his guys… I’m like, ‘How do you feel about it?’ I turned it on him and he’s like, ‘What? Yeah, I’m happy for you.’ ‘Okay, I’m happy, too. I think. I don’t know.’ I was just so awkward. I didn’t know how to react. ‘Cause I was just a ball of emotions. This was the dream. I always wanted to be a WWE superstar. I grew up watching RAW and Smackdown. So, to know I’m going to be a part of these shows now, I needed a moment. Now, it’s just crazy," Priest recalled.
Priest competed at the 2021 Royal Rumble and would be introduced on Raw the next night by Bad Bunny. For the next few months, he would feud with The Miz and John Morrison, defeating the duo at WrestleMania along with Bad Bunny in a tag team match.
As for his interactions with Vince McMahon, Priest told Fightful that they have all been positive. According to the former NXT North American Champion, Vince knows what he wants and explains it in a way that if you don't get it, you probably shouldn't be there.
"Positive, to be honest," he shared. "He’s somebody that knows what he wants for his show. He knows what he wants out of you. He’s been honest with me and the whole time he’s been like, ‘I need more of this, I need more of that, or less of this.’ But, it’s always positive. He’ll explain to me why. It’s always like, ‘Oh, I get it.’ He has a way of speaking to people that if you don’t get it after he talks to you, you shouldn’t be here. So, my interactions with him has actually been very positive. He seems like he likes me, so that’s a good thing."
Known to get a bit physical with some of the talent, Vince has yet to wrestle Priest. That said, the Chairman of the Board has gotten a bit aggressive when explaining stuff. Priest said the following:
"He hasn’t tried to wrestle me. He’s grabbed me a few times while he’s explaining stuff and I’m like, ‘Whoa. Take it easy, man. Like, I gotta go perform. You don’t hurt me now.’"
Priest won the WWE United States Championship at SummerSlam last month. On the most recent episode of Raw, he successfully defended his title against Drew McIntyre and Sheamus.