Sam Gradwell has become a staple on NXT UK during the pandemic era, sharing the ring with the likes of Ilja Dragunov, Tyler Bate, and Nathan Frazier (formerly Ben Carter).
On the April 22 episode of NXT UK, he picked up a victory over Dave Mastiff.
Speaking to Oliver Browning of GiveMeSport, Gradwell discussed his journey to WWE.
"Robbie Brookside came and did a training seminar and when it was over, he pulled me aside and handed me a WWE business card. He said ‘do me a favour, send me a couple of pictures, matches and we’ll see where we go’. I’d emailed him but I didn’t hear anything for about six months, so I thought it was one of those bits of false hopes. Then eventually I got an email from someone in WWE inviting me to a three-day tryout at the O2 Arena," he said.
Gradwell continued by saying. "When I got to that tryout, I thought I was ready. I thought that when I walked down that ramp that Vince McMahon was going to take one look at me and say ‘there’s my star, come here you, get away from these tryout lot, get here!’ That didn’t happen, but I did strike up a relationship with William Regal that day. He pulled me aside and said ‘you’re not ready now, but there’s something there and you eventually will be.’ Regal kept in contact with me, whenever WWE were touring the UK he’d bring me in for extra work, let me have tryout matches before the cameras were on. Then, when the WWE UK Championship tournament came around [in 2017], it was about 7:00 am in the morning and I was sat on the toilet in my nana and grandad's house and my phone rang - it was William Regal."
Gradwell was asked to compete in the WWE United Kingdom Title Tournament, losing in the Quarterfinal to Pete Dunne, thus starting his journey in WWE.
Fightful will have live coverage of NXT UK beginning at 3 p.m. ET on Thursday.