Roderick Strong is currently thriving in NXT as the North American Champion. But before Strong became part of the most dominant faction in NXT history, he was struggling to breakthrough on the Independent scene.
Strong was part of ROH during the famed Golden Era of the company with CM Punk, AJ Styles, Samoa Joe, and Daniel Bryan. While those four moved on to WWE or TNA/IMPACT, Strong remained unsigned. And it nearly led to him walking away from the sport.
"When I got grouped in with the AJ Styles, CM Punks, Samoa Joes, Daniel Bryans, I felt like 'this has the potential to be the greatest era of wrestling ever.' As guys started to make it, even though I was doing a lot of great stuff in Ring of Honor and going to Japan, you start thinking, 'Do I not have what it takes? Am I not good enough?' There was a stage where I was getting into my own head," Strong revealed on After The Bell. "It was about 2008 into 2009, I kind of contemplated like, 'I don't know if I necessarily want to do this anymore.' Not like I was jealous of all the other guy's success. I just felt, personally, that I'm in the same league as them and I wanted the opportunity to show the world. It was a small stretch of time, just a few months, but after that I had a come to Jesus meeting with myself. I looked in the mirror and said, 'Your path has always been different and will continue to be different. When you get the opportunity, you're gonna make the most of it.' And here I am today."
Strong was signed by WWE in 2016 and almost immediately became a featured player on television. He is currently one-fourth of the Undisputed Era. He was recently added to the EVOLVE recruitment camp.
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