Since joining the Cruiserweight division on ‘Raw,’ Neville has astounded fans all over the world with his impressive talent, working as a heel and quickly capturing the Cruiserweight Championship. Prior to his venture into this division, Neville had only worked as a face on the main roster.
Neville recently spoke with Sports Illustrated about his time in ‘NXT,’ the British wrestling scene and if he cares what Triple H thinks of him.
Neville is first asked about the Performance Center, where all new WWE recruits go to train in various aspects of their character, such as moves and durability, staying in shape and promos. WWE have in the past held multiple openings of the center for media and fans alike to see.
SI.com: How much of your success do you attribute to the Performance Center?
Neville: I credit a lot of my success to the Performance Center, but I’m just naturally gifted, so that’s that.
Moving forward, Sports Illustrated would ask Neville about his impact on the ‘205 Live’ roster as part of the Cruiserweight division. Neville captured the Championship by defeating Rich Swann back at the ‘Royal Rumble’ pay-per-view in January of this year.
SI.com: Do you feel an extra motivation to succeed and engage audiences with your style since you are a cruiserweight in the land of heavyweights in WWE?
Neville: Pound for pound, I’m unmatched. This has traditionally been the world of the giants. For those who are smaller, we’ve always been fighting an uphill battle. The cruiserweight division consists of guys under 205 pounds, but I don’t need to tell you what I do. You can watch me and then you’ll understand what I do and what I’m all about. I don’t want to labor the point. I’m not one of these guys who is going to build myself up to you for an over and put myself over. I do my talking in the ring. Austin Aries, however, is someone who is a better talker than he is a fighter. I am fundamentally a fighter before anything else.
This is a big man’s business, so for any guy who is considered undersized, you are constantly fighting an uphill battle. This has very much been a catalyst in my change in attitude. For too long, I have been overlooked. For too long, I have been disrespected. For too long, I had been too good. That is exactly why I have turned up in 205 Live, and that is exactly why I have behaved in the manner in which I have behaved recently. I am a product of this environment. I am inevitability, and now I am showing everyone what I am all about. I tried to play the etiquette game, the respect game, for too long, and it didn’t work out for me. Now I’m rightfully taking what is long overdue.
‘The King of the Cruiserweights’ is than asked about his relationship with WWE Executive Vice President of Talent, Live Events and Creative, Triple H. Triple H was last seen on WWE television at WrestleMania 33, where he was defeated in an ‘Unsanctioned’ match against Seth Rollins, which would also see his real-life wife Stephanie McMahon be put through a table.
SI.com: Paul “Triple H” Levesque is a guiding force with the Performance Center, as well as the creation of the Cruiserweight Classic and 205 Live show on the WWE Network. What have you learned from Triple H’s guidance?
Neville: Hunter is a role model to everybody. Obviously, I’ve got a lot of respect for Hunter. Right now, I’m not concerned about him or his admiration or respect. All I’m concerned about, right now, is myself. I haven’t always been that guy. For the longest time, I was trying to please everybody, the WWE Universe included. Now, I don’t care. If Triple H likes me or dislikes me, that’s not important to me. What’s important to me is me. It’s taken me a long time to say that.
After the shocking answer of the previous question, Neville is asked what is to come of him after this feud with current number one contender, Austin Aries.
SI.com: What are your goals for storylines and feuds post your work with Austin Aries?
Neville: Domination, baby. Domination. I am going to continue to house keep my kingdom. I’m never satisfied. If you think I’m satisfied now, that would be a big mistake. There is a lot for me to do, and this 205 Live and the Cruiserweight championship are just the first steps. You can mark my words–this is just step one.
Finally, as a British wrestler himself, Neville is asked by Sports Illustrated what he thinks of the professional wrestling scene there.
SI.com: Talents outside the WWE, specifically Will Ospreay and Marty Scurll, have mentioned your work as inspiring, especially for a fellow British wrestler. Are you grateful for their words of support?
Neville: That makes me giggle. Isn’t that cute? Try your best, lads. I’ll see you soon.
Neville is scheduled to face Austin Aries in a Submission match for the WWE Cruiserweight Championship at WWE ‘Extreme Rules’ this weekend.
It seems like Neville kept kayfabe during this interview, but I loved every second of it. Sports Illustrated did an amazing job with the questions they asked. Props to them. Neville has always been one of my favorites so it is nice seeing him in the position he is in, though I do want Aries to capture that title.
What is your opinion on Neville? What did you think of his answers to the questions Sports Illustrated asked him? Let us know in the comments below or over on our Facebook page or Twitter account. Additionally, you can follow me over on Twitter at @SOSNH1995. Thank you for reading.
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