NXT fan favorite Tye Dillinger recently spoke with Byron Saxton for the WWE website about his Royal Rumble debut and his future in NXT.
Here are some highlights:
Dillinger found out that day that he would be in the Rumble. Once he recovered from the shock, what did he do to prepare for that night?
"I don't know if I could fully mentally prepare myself for that moment. I've replayed it over and over in my mind countless times and even now, it still feels surreal. Once I found out that I had officially been entered in the Royal Rumble, I took some time to myself to sit down and try to comprehend what was going to take place later that night. I couldn't.
All I could do was reflect on the past 15 years of my career, the paths I took at various times and the people who had helped me get to the point of performing in front of over 52,000 people at the 30th annual Royal Rumble. There have been many ups and downs for me and, to be frank, more downs. But in those 15 years, I've learned to understand that anything worth chasing isn't easy and takes time. That one moment in the Royal Rumble Match, when I entered at No. 10, made every up, down and hardship absolutely worth it."
How did his main roster debut in the Rumble add extra motivation to his career in NXT?:
"My motivation level here in NXT has always been high. I believe it's one of my stronger attributes. Competing in the Royal Rumble capped off a chapter in my career that I feel was 15 years in the making. That one moment, on that night, taught me that if you work hard enough when no one is watching, believe in yourself when others don't, be good to people even if they don't deserve it, and have incredible patience, eventually, something will roll your way.
I just didn't think that something would be competing at the 30th annual Royal Rumble event with the likes of The Undertaker, Brock Lesnar, Goldberg and Roman Reigns. [Laughs] I couldn't be happier that it was, though. The way I look at it now, that's just step one. WWE gave me a taste of what it's like on the big stage and I want more. So now, I'll work even harder."
How did being bulled as a young boy prepare him for his feud with Eric Young and SAnitY?:
"I was picked on as a kid growing up. I was tall, but very skinny and early on in my grade school years, didn't have a lot of friends. That made me easy pickings for bigger kids who were older than me and had friends who felt in order to feel good about themselves, they needed to make others around them feel terrible.
SAnitY is the same way, very bully-like. Three-on-one or four-on-one, it's a numbers game with them. However, I stood up for myself in grade school against guys bigger than me and who had more friends than me. Sometimes, you win and sometimes, you lose, but eventually, the bullying stopped. The same outcome will happen whether SAnitY realizes it or not. Either they move on from all this "Tye, join us" nonsense, or I will take them all down one by one."
You can read the entire interview at this link.