How did he find out he was getting called up to the main roster?
“I had heard some rumblings that they were looking to bring up someone. When you look at the roster of NXT, you kind of gauge yourself and figure out where you fit in, and I figured I’d be a possibility. Finally, I had a meeting with Triple H, and he said that I was given the green light, and we were going to start moving on it. We weren’t sure of all the details, but I knew it was happening. The next thing I know, I was sitting there, ready to go.”
Did he want to stay in NXT?:
“I’m always excited for every step along the way. My time in NXT was definitely fun though. If anything ever pops up and they want me back there, like for this U.K. tour coming up, I’m always on board to do anything with NXT, just because I’ve had so much fun with it. I’ve been almost like a pillar of NXT in terms of being there the whole time and now I’m moving on. It would be a cool thing if they brought me back for a few shows here and there, and I’d definitely be up for it.”
What was it like to wrestle Jushin Liger?
“It was awesome. That’s another thing that was a first. Nobody in WWE has ever worked with him on a WWE stage. So the fact that I was the first one to do that, and the only one to do that, is a huge honor. He’s a huge star, and it was fun to be the guy on the other side of the ring with him. He was a pleasure to work with, and I’d do that any day of the week.”
On the Creation of the Tyler Breeze character after being Mike Dalton in FCW:
“There are a few key players in it. Basically, it was one of those things where I was doing Mike Dalton for a while and it just wasn’t catching on. There wasn’t really anything for people to sink their teeth into – I was just kind of the faceless guy that was on the card. Finally it gets to a point where you’re either marketable or you’re not, and Mike Dalton just wasn’t marketable. So I had to come up with something that was marketable. I had the conversation about needing to come up with something else, and I immediately called Xavier Woods. I told him, “I don’t really know what to do, I need your help.” He said, “Let’s come up with 5 or 10 different characters and a bunch of different things at every end of the spectrum. We’ll have new names, we’ll have personalities for them, we’ll come up with bios for them. We’ll create videos and we’ll keep pitching until they like something.
I came up with five characters right off the bat. There was a snowboarder, there was a darker version of what I was doing and then one of them was Tyler Breeze. At the time, he was a little bit different, but along the same lines of who he is today. We went over to Xavier’s house, and we started making videos. We actually had a lot of fun making the Tyler Breeze one, more than any of the others. We didn’t know if they would like it, but we really liked it. We ended up pitching it, and Dusty [Rhodes] was the first one to get back to me. He said, “Hey, there might be something to this model. Let’s have a talk.” From there, it just kind of snowballed and everyone started jumping on board. It was a totally different look from what I was doing. It was a totally different interview style from what I was doing. Everything about it was different. It was a fresh start that everyone was on board with, and a couple years later, here we are.”