On his relationship with Triple H and Shawn Michaels: “What’s good about my relationship with him and my relationship with Shawn Michaels is that they’re so positive. To date, positive. I formed a bond with Hunter, with Shawn, that I would like to think about, and they also made it clear to me that this is a relationship that we are always going to keep. I loved working with these guys. He knew what my goals were, what I wanted to accomplish. I think one of the main reasons I loved NXT so much was that we had that freedom and ability to fight super cool, longer matches and show ourselves artistically in that sense. NXT was built on this mentality. I came in at the right time, at least for what I loved about pro wrestling. He (Hunter) understood that I wanted to keep doing stuff like this, he knew my Twitch was super important to me. And I know that’s a big no no to WWE, which is unfortunate. So I was very open and very honest with him, to the point that I was still thinking about what to do once my contract expired. He knew it. And then when the decision was made, he knew it and Shawn knew it. So I have always been open and honest with them from the start because they have always been open and honest with me. I love Hunter, I love Shawn. They were just amazing to me, they made me better as a performer. I don’t think I would be where I am in AEW right now without these two and I really do. When I think of the performer I was with in Ring of Honor, as much as I’ve learned and so many great people I’ve had the opportunity to work with, spending those four years with them didn’t of price. It is absolutely priceless.
Talking to Shawn Michaels about his decision to leave: “Shawn and I have developed a relationship, like I said, that I think will last for the rest of our lives. At least I hope so, and I know Shawn feels it too. But Shawn has always been a big believer in me and what’s best for me. So of course he wanted me to find something that I could stay in and things like that. But at the same time, Shawn wanted me to be happy, he wanted me to do what’s best for me. So he supported me. He knows how much I respect him, how much I admire and idolize him. So to be very open about “listen, of course I want you to stay here”. But I want you to be happy. He was putting things aside, all of that aside. He just wanted me to be as happy as possible so that was really cool for me. It was what I needed to hear honestly. Like I said, it was a big decision. So for him, having my back was really cool.
For not addressing the recent changes to NXT 2.0: “Honestly to god, I never treated him. I have never faced change. From the moment I started there until my last match with Kyle O’Reilly at TakeOver 36, we had so much creative freedom. Once again, the duration of the matches was super long. The promotional segments that we were doing, we had so much feedback. I really haven’t faced much change. I know now with NXT 2.0 there seems to be a massive, massive change, which is good. But seriously, honestly, I never dealt with any of this. I have never done. We had heard rumors about the coming change. But by the time I left, I had never experienced or dealt with the change whatsoever. That’s what I mean when I say my transition to NXT has been flawless. Because I really never had to deal with any of that. I have never done. “
If he was worried that he would not have creative freedom on the master list: ” For sure. But that doesn’t mean I didn’t want to do this or experience this. I want to be able to look back on my career and say that I have accomplished and done whatever I wanted. And again, even I had a very short stint to get the chance to work on RAW and SmackDown, and I got to make the match at Survivor Series. All of these experiences have also been very positive. It was all crazy, and that’s a whole different story with all that last minute stuff. It was crazy. But yes, there was certainly a fear. And it’s not because of anything other than the fact that I feel like I’ve known so many people who got upset or stressed about situations they were thrown into. . I am that annoyingly optimistic person who finds the positive in everything. But yes, it was a concern and it was something that worried me a bit. So far, in the thirteen and a half years that I’ve been in the wrestling world, I haven’t gotten to the point where I’m like ‘I hate this’. I’m not having fun. I have been very lucky, fingers crossed, the whole time.
(h / t – Lutte Inc)