Santos Escobar always had WWE aspirations and when he finally made it, he didn't think his time in the company would last long.
Before being signed by WWE in 2019, Escobar had two tryouts with the company over the past 11 years but wasn't signed either time. Outside of WWE, Escobar built his name in Lucha Underground, IMPACT Wrestling, and Lucha Libre AAA.
Appearing on the Getting Over podcast, Escobar recalled his journey to WWE and always wanting to be a WWE superstar.
"In my case, I always wanted to be in WWE. I did my first and only tryout eleven years ago. For whatever reason, it didn't happen then. I had the opportunity to come five years or so ago and it didn't happen again. I just came to a point in my career where I said, 'I'm going to try again, be a free agent, and see what happens.' That's when I left AAA/IMPACT/Lucha Underground. I was a free agent for about 45 minutes because I had the opportunity (to come to WWE) and I took it. I took it not because of the money, the glamour, or the position. I took it because I knew I belonged here. I knew that if I had the opportunity, I would be able to prove to everyone who said I couldn't do it and to myself that I could be a WWE superstar and a champion," he said.
Escobar officially signed with the company in August 2019 but didn't debut on television until April 2020 due to a knee injury suffered in training.
Escobar stated he believes he would have been used right away if not for the injury. He also thought his WWE dreams were over because of the injury.
"When I got injured, I thought, 'I'm going to have to go back to Mexico, get myself fixed, and seek another opportunity.' They told me, 'No, you're staying. We're going to fix you and you're staying.' For that, I will be forever thankful. So many people say that this is a cutthroat business, and it is in some aspects, but every now and then you find this kind of situation and it overwhelmed me. The last two or three years in Mexico, I was working 300+ days a year. That's no different than a WWE schedule, so I was ready for it, then the first thing I do is get injured. It was a bummer. I was depressed and someone told me, 'Maybe this is a blessing in disguise.' At the time, I didn't see it like that, but then I saw that maybe it was and I needed to adapt to WWE and understand how things are run. I got the opportunity to meet everyone at the Performance Center, be at the tapings and the live shows. It gave me the opportunity to slow down and learn what the company is about. When my time came, I was eager to show my abilities. It was the best thing to happen; to mix Lucha Libre and WWE," he said.
Elsewhere during the interview, Escobar discussed initially wrestling with the mask and going by El Hijo del Fantasma before unmasking to reveal himself as Santos Escobar. You can find his full comments by clicking here.
Escobar is set to battle Devlin in a ladder match to determine the unified NXT Cruiserweight Champion in a ladder match at NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver. You can view the current lineup for NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver by clicking here.
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