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Damian Priest On The Undertaker’s Influence: I Wouldn’t Be Here If It Wasn’t For Him

Damian Priest says your intuition was correct if you thought he was trying to channel The Undertaker when he was in Ring Of Honor. 

Damian Priest spoke with Stew Myrick of Sports Guys Talking Wrestling ahead of WrestleMania 38 and spoke about some of his earlier work in Ring Of Honor, which Myrick says felt like the then-Punishment Martinez was channeling The Undertaker. Priest said that was by design, then explained how much of an impact “The Phenom” had on his career.

“Well first, if you saw a little bit [of that influence], then mission accomplished because that’s exactly what I was doing. I was giving everybody that side of me that was always in love with the character and I wanted to be — put it this way, growing up, when fell in love with wrestling, you could want to be like people, but I legit wanted to be The Undertaker in wrestling. As a kid, I [thought] if I ever wanted to be a Superstar, I wanted to be The Undertaker, you know? And then as you grow up, it becomes more you’re a fan of The Undertaker and you’d love to have aspects of him, but not be him,” Priest said. “And that’s basically how that character that I used to do, what it was, he basically was a form, an expression of what I love about The Undertaker,” Priest explained.

“I would not be here talking to you if it wasn’t for him because he was the one — the first one — that made me feel heavy emotions and get invested into what I was watching. And that is basically what made me want to do this because I wanted people to feel emotion because of me, because of the way he made me feel. So that’s where it started, I fell in love with the business because of seeing him and his character, and then fell in love with the idea of becoming a Superstar because of the emotional part. Through the years and the accomplishments and everything, my fandom kept growing and I got into the business and watched him,” Priest noted. “now it’s crazy that I get to talk to him and he gives me advice. Again, I don’t know how I got here, but I’m glad I did and I’m glad I have people like Undertaker, for whatever reason, want to help me.”

He won’t be in action at WrestleMania 38, but The Undertaker will be inducted into the WWE Hall Of Fame this year. Priest spoke about WrestleMania 38 feeling like his first one, noting how last year’s show still had more restrictions in place. He said that there’s a great atmosphere backstage and it truly feels like WrestleMania now, noting that he’s just excited to be there this weekend.

Read More: The Undertaker: I’m Going To Be A ‘Nervous Wreck’ At The WWE Hall Of Fame Ceremony

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