Audio: Neville talks Money in the Bank, moving to the main roster, Triple H, NXT, more
Via Donald Wood:
YouTube interview: https://youtu.be/r7h-_KcQQjw
Blog Talk Radio Episode: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/ringrustradio/2015/06/16/ring-rust-radio–june-16-w-wwe-star-neville-and-money-in-the-bank-raw-review
Donald Wood: Money in the Bank is Sunday, June 14 from Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio and can be seen on the WWE Network. You are one of the seven men in the Money in the Bank ladder match. What is the pressure like for you to perform in this match after only being on the main roster for a few months and how confident are you that you can walk away victorious?
Neville: I don’t really feel the pressure too much. I think nobody expects me to when for the most part. That is certainly something I am used to and I am used to exceeding expectations. I feel like this match is designed to suit my style. I don’t feel too much pressure so I am going to go in there take whatever opportunity is thrown my way and put myself on the map. Anything is possible in a match like that. Maybe you will see the man that gravity forgot grabbing that contract at the end of the night. I certainly hope so but I am going to give it my best shot.
Mike Chiari: A lot of Superstars in WWE history have used ladder matches to reach the next level and become top stars. Shawn Michaels, Edge and Christian and the Hardys all come to mind, so for you, as a guy who excels in a high-flying, high-risk environment, do you view Money in the Bank as a match in which you can seize that signature moment and establish yourself as a big-time player in WWE?
Neville: Absolutely. I feel like it’s a match that suits me. With these types of matches you always remember the winner, but you also remember the guys that put everything on the line. The ones that took the risks and did these things to put themselves on the map. I look to win and that is the priority but I realize in a match like these there are chances to put yourself ahead in the game. I am certainly prepared to go the lengths to do that. I am really pumped and ready to perform Sunday.
Brandon Galvin: Are you looking forward to being in a ladder match with six other superstars or do you prefer a one vs. one ladder match like when you wrestled Bo Dallas in NXT last year?
Neville: It’s hard to say what I prefer because they are so different. The strategy and planning for each one is totally different. Honestly I don’t know what to expect, I don’t have too much experience in matches like this with multi-men and the ladder. It’s hard to say which I prefer, but I know this match for me is perfect and a huge opportunity. I am super excited and ready for this Sunday at Money in the Bank.
Donald Wood: The jump from NXT to the main roster can be a daunting concept for many stars, but your transition has been seamless. With smaller wrestlers not always finding success in the WWE, were there any concerns from you about making the move and how do you feel the fans and the people backstage are reacting to you?
Neville: I think NXT prepared me for Raw and Smackdown more than I ever could have hoped for. I was with NXT for about two years, so by the time I debuted on Raw I felt very much ready. There was a level of concern but I was lucky in the sense that I got the chance to wrestle some of the top guys early on. Guys like Seth Rollins, Sheamus, and more recently John Cena. So it was a concern that I wouldn’t get those types of opportunities when I came in but I was fortunate enough to get them and grab them. I was very happy in the way I transferred and the opportunities I got.
Mike Chiari: Not long after your main roster debut you put on a great match against John Cena for the United States Championship and it almost looked like you were going to win title before Rusev interfered. What did going shot for shot with one of the biggest stars in WWE history mean to you personally, and what do you think it did for your credibility in the eyes of the fans, especially the ones who weren’t familiar with your work in NXT?
Neville: That match was huge for me. It was very surreal to be standing across the ring from John Cena on Monday Night Raw. I think it really did a lot for me. It was a real opportunity I needed and John is a WWE Superstar. He has been the top guy in the WWE for years and years. So the fact that I had that opportunity and went toe to toe with him was amazing. It put me in front of the eyes of the WWE Universe and the world. That was a really cool experience, it was so much fun and it was priceless.
Brandon Galvin: Shortly after your debut on the main roster, you surprised a young WWE fan on the Meredith show, which created a ton of buzz. How rewarding was that experience for you and what do you consider to be the most rewarding part of being a WWE Superstar?
Neville: That’s the most rewarding thing for me to reach out to the kids. It’s really crazy but it’s the most important thing we do. I really didn’t expect that reaction like everyone gave me being on the Meredith Vieira show. I was sitting in the pit in back, and it made me realize how important what we do really is. That’s the most important thing is how we reach the WWE Universe and how we inspire people in their life. If I can do that and be given the chance to do it, it’s really the best thing we do.
Donald Wood: With the success of stars like Kevin Owens, Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose, yourself and many others, there is no denying the influence of independent wrestling. How did working the indie scene before coming to NXT help you prepare for the WWE experience and what are some of the difference you didn’t expect?
Neville: The landscape is completely changing and I love it. The way things are working out and the opportunities people I grew up with are getting. I feel the independent scene is important and it fueled my passion for four years. It taught me the life lessons that helped make me who I am today and helped me on the path I followed to living my dream job every day. The independent scene is hugely important and the roads you travel in it shape you. My career path is the best I could have hoped for and that’s thanks to independent wrestling and territories across the world.
Mike Chiari: NXT and WWE were initially treated as very different entities, but now it’s mentioned so often on Raw and SmackDown and you even have Kevin Owens defending the NXT Championship on live WWE programming. What do you think it does for the prestige of the NXT title and for the NXT brand as a whole to be featured so prominently in WWE and be presented to an audience that isn’t necessarily the same as NXT’s hardcore fan base?
Neville: You know I think it does a lot for the brand but I feel like the NXT brand became its own thing by itself. You have to watch the NXT shows to realize the depth of talent the NXT brand has compared to Raw and SmackDown. That’s a real testimony to the guys and girls at NXT. It shows how hard they work to put on such a great product that it’s become its own brand. It’s now becoming more heavily featured on Raw and SmackDown, I think that is just awesome.
Brandon Galvin: How did you come up with the Red Arrow and what type of training or practice goes into doing a move like that in order to have it ready every night?
Neville: The Red Arrow took a long time to come together and I wanted to make a move that was unique to myself. It’s a move I built up with building blocks. I wanted to do a corkscrew moonsault backwards, so I had the idea of doing it forwards like the shooting star corkscrew, and I was aware no one else did that in wrestling. If I could perfect this technique it would be unique to me. So it took a long time and me putting these building blocks together and had to come over the fear involved. Eventually, I nailed it and knew it was going to be my own. It’s been my move now for a long time, about six or seven years now I’ve been using the red arrow.
Donald Wood: Everyone knows how Triple H has really taken a lot of the top NXT stars under his wing and brought them up to the main roster with a guide. What is your perception on how Vince McMahon looks at the top NXT stars? Does he look at them the same way Triple H does? How do you think Vince looks at you as a top star?
Neville: It’s hard to say with Vince being super busy with the main brands and PPVs. I don’t know how much time he has to see NXT. I know the guys like the Shield and the Wyatts who go through NXT and found success on Raw and SmackDown paved the way for more movement from NXT to the main roster. It’s really hard to say for definite to be honest.