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Byrons Interviews

Adam Cole, Bobby Fish & Kyle O’Reilly have invaded NXT with a brash attitude and intentions to shake up the system at its very core. They’re three men with internationally acclaimed backgrounds that share one common goal: to rule NXT.

When Cole, Fish & O’Reilly first burst onto the scene at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III, their impact was immediately felt by then-new NXT Champion Drew McIntyre, who was the target of a blindside attack. Since then, the Superstars known as The Undisputed ERA have expanded their campaign of mayhem to include SAnitY. This week, all three men sit down with WWE.com to discuss their relationship with each other and their objectives in NXT.

WWE.COM: Thank you for joining me, gentlemen. Adam, let’s start with you. Why did the three of you choose NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III as your moment to burst onto the scene of NXT?

ADAM COLE: Here’s the deal. You don’t make a statement unless you make noise. We knew that what we were doing was going to cause a lot of ruckus. We knew it would get people talking. And that’s exactly what we wanted. The only way you make a name for yourself in this sport is to make a statement, a loud statement, and that’s exactly what we did at TakeOver: Brooklyn.

WWE.COM: Bobby, you made your NXT debut several months prior to Cole and O’Reilly’s arrivals. Did you know about the planned invasion back then?

BOBBY FISH: Nothing I do is impulsive; everything I do is based around a sound strategy. Of course I knew all along. This was a deliberate course of action designed to expose the holes within NXT, capitalize on those weaknesses, and ensure success.

WWE.COM: Kyle, you and Fish have had a great deal of worldwide success as a tag team, while you and Cole have been rivals and partners in the past. What’s the relationship been like among all three of you?

KYLE O’REILLY: The three of us have traveled the world together and headlined pay-per-views, both as friends and enemies. We’ve been bitter career rivals that competed and strived for our own personal gain and success. In that same breath, we are ready and willing to put aside any grievance for the common good and underlying goal. Bobby and I have always had each other’s backs and are like brothers. Our past tag team success is a direct result of this mentality. We were once known as “reDRagon.” We captured the IWGP Junior Tag Team Titles in Japan for two reigns, including a successful title defense in the Tokyo Dome.

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Byrons Interviews

It’s not every day that you come across an individual who looks and sounds like Lars Sullivan. In the case of NXT, one might suggest that there has never been a Superstar quite like Sullivan to step inside the squared circle. With a freakishly intense demeanor matched by massively rich vocabulary, Sullivan has created quite the buzz recently. This week, WWE.com attempts to learn just a little bit more about NXT’s highly threatening Superstar.

WWE.COM: You’ve displayed a very intense and fiery personality the last few weeks that we’ve seen you on NXT. Where does this come from?

LARS SULLIVAN: You’d have to ask a psychiatrist to get an answer as to why I’m as belligerent as I am. As far as I’m concerned, all I do is get in the proper state of mind before a match. I’m not an angry person, but I do get angry at anyone who gets in my way. Listen, I’m not oblivious to the fact that I’m a scary guy. I get it. If I had to fight me, I’d be scared too. I’m not interested in being nice and complacent; I want to win and be the best. The best way for me to accomplish that is to be as aggressive as possible.

WWE.COM: Not a lot has been publicized about your background. Did you participate in any sports prior to NXT?

SULLIVAN: This is a question a first date would ask. Ask me how much can I overhead squat.

WWE.COM: OK … how much can you overhead squat?

SULLIVAN: Well, since you asked, 365 pounds.

WWE.COM: Would you be interested in divulging any of your other weightlifting accomplishments?

SULLIVAN: Now we’re talking. I’ve always had an affinity for moving a lot of weight, as it makes me feel exuberant. My numbers are up there in every lift, trust me. However, I find that focusing on mobility, stability and flexibility is far more important than the weight-room numbers. I can surely confirm to you that I’m overall the most athletic big man in this industry. It’s a matter of when and how I decide to showcase it.

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Byrons Interviews

They may be new to NXT’s Tag Team division, but they’re hard to miss once you catch them. With overflowing charisma and unbound energy, we introduce you to The Street Profits. On one side is Angelo Dawkins, a three-sport national champion collegiate athlete in football, wrestling and track. His partner? A former United States Marine and record-setting track athlete named Montez Ford. Both sat with WWE.com to talk about their team name, their intentions and their bond.

WWE.COM: Describe to the NXT Universe exactly who The Street Profits are.

MONTEZ FORD: The Street Profits are for the culture. Dawkins and I represent everything now and current. We are two men with similar backgrounds who have faced hardship and troubled upbringings at times because of the environment that we lived in. We are just showing people that we made it. We’re also trying to spread the message that with hard work, direction and perseverance, you can make it, just like us.

WWE.COM: Your partner knows all about perseverance. Dawkins, you’ve seen a lot in NXT over the last five years. What drew you to a partnership with Montez Ford?

ANGELO DAWKINS: Well Tez [Montez] and I already knew each other before he came to NXT. Tez is from Chicago, and I went to Harper College, which is near Chicago, so we have always had that chemistry right off the bat. Me being at NXT for a while and him still being fairly new led to us talking about teaming up and seeing how this move would be super beneficial for us both. That’s how we decided to start teaming.

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Byrons Interviews

There’s an old saying that, sometimes, you just need someone to slap some sense into you. Enter Zelina Vega.

After making her abrasive NXT debut with a jaw-shattering slap to Andrade “Cien” Almas last month, Vega has vowed to turn Almas’ career around. Almas will have no bigger opportunity for that turnaround than his one-on-one matchup with Johnny Gargano this Saturday night at NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III. Just days before the event, Vega shed some light on her relationship with Almas and their intentions in Brooklyn.

WWE.COM: What exactly is the relationship between you and Andrade?

ZELINA VEGA: I am his business manager, and as his business manager, my job is to keep him on track, with his eyes on the prize in NXT.

WWE.COM: How long have you known Andrade?

VEGA: I first met Andrade seven years ago in Mexico. We struck up a deal for me to help manage his career affairs and take the success of his unique brand to a whole new level. The problem is, the more success Andrade experienced, the larger his ego grew. Eventually, we decided to part ways, and I let him do his own thing.
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WWE.COM: What led to the both of you reuniting in NXT?

VEGA: I don’t think I’d call it reuniting — more like me saving Andrade from himself. I know the real Andrade, and the guy I was watching on NXT for months before I got here was not the real Andrade. The Andrade I knew in Mexico would do anything to get to the top and even more to stay on top. The Andrade I knew would give his left arm for the spotlight and the money that comes with it. But the Andrade I’ve seen on NXT got lazy and complacent.

WWE.COM: I see you are very passionate about this …

VEGA: (Interrupts) You need to understand something. Andrade had a large reputation to uphold because of his rich family heritage in Mexico, and he upheld that reputation because of my management behind the scenes. We were treated to five-star restaurants every night, walked into any club we wanted to, women falling over him; you name it, and we had it. Andrade was treated like a god in Mexico, but when he’s on the biggest stage of his career in NXT, he suffers a losing streak? It’s like he stopped caring. Honestly, it’s upsetting because I know he’s better than that.

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Byrons Interviews

Well-traveled, highly gifted in the world of martial arts and a familiar face to some of the top names in WWE today, Bobby Fish has joined the ranks of NXT. Despite seeing the new NXT Superstar fall short in his debut match against Aleister Black, most sports-entertainment aficionados agree that the addition of Fish to the roster is a win-win for both parties. Fish sat down with WWE.com to talk about his pre-NXT career and the impressive resume that preceded his arrival.

WWE.COM: How did it feel to walk down the ramp of Full Sail University in Orlando, Fla., for your NXT debut?

BOBBY FISH: Somewhat surreal because much of this has come together very quickly. I watched the success of former co-workers and peers, such as Roderick Strong, Kassius Ohno and Hideo Itami, make that very same walk at Full Sail. At this point, I feel so prepared for this new challenge. In my opinion, this life is about the journey, and when mine ends, I expect that this vessel, my body, will be banged up, battered and beaten, which will be a clear indication of a life well lived. NXT represents the next step in my journey.

WWE.COM: You mentioned some of the names you came up with during your career. Who are some other current WWE Superstars you worked with along the way?

FISH: Kevin Owens, AJ Styles, Cesaro, Luke Harper, Samoa Joe, Daniel Bryan, Luke Gallows, Karl Anderson, Shinsuke Nakamura and Sami Zayn. I’m bound to leave someone out because the list is a pretty lengthy one.

WWE.COM: Did you ever think you’d make it to this point?

FISH: At times, yes, and at times, no. I remember a conversation I had with Kevin Owens in a hotel gym in Chicago a few years back. We were both working for Ring of Honor, and at that time, it seemed like Kevin was headed toward the next step in his journey. I have immense respect for Kevin and all that he’s been through to find his success. He is not the prototype for what was rumored to be ideal here and neither am I. Understanding his drive to succeed here through that conversation made me think that if I want that — which I believe, in some way, anyone who laces up the boots to do this, does on some level — then I will create a similar opportunity for myself. So yeah, I did think I’d be here one day.
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WWE.COM: How did you get your start in the industry?

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Byrons Interviews

After suffering a shoulder injury that derailed her career for two months, Ember Moon is back. This week, Moon speaks to WWE.com about her injury, frustrations and her belief that she still has what it takes to defeat NXT Women’s Champion Asuka.

WWE.COM: How does it feel to be back on the active roster of NXT?

EMBER MOON: I feel like I’ve lifted a huge weight off my back. I’ve always known that every time you step into that ring, you run a huge risk of getting seriously injured. I’m just relieved my shoulder is 100 percent and I’m back in the mix.

WWE.COM: What exactly was the injury to your shoulder?

MOON: I had a grade-one AC joint tear or, in layman terms, a separated shoulder.

WWE.COM: Take us through that moment last May when your shoulder slammed against the ringside barricade, thus causing the injury.

MOON: When I hit the barricade, I knew that I was hurt. I heard something pop in my shoulder and I initially thought it was my collarbone. The pain didn’t hit until I rolled over onto my back. I remember telling myself that it hurts, but it won’t be too bad. As soon as the medical trainers tried to move me, I realized that it was worse than I thought. I remember literally hitting the floor with my hand, realizing that I was probably going to miss NXT TakeOver: Chicago.

WWE.COM: What was your rehab like?

MOON: The first two weeks after the injury, I was mostly only allowed to rest. Resting was the hardest part because I’m used to being in the game. I’m used to being at the WWE Performance Center six hours a day, training and working on getting better. After two weeks, I was able to get more aggressive with electrotherapy and light weight-training. I would start with two pounds and then bump up to five pounds, then 10 pounds, etc. It got to a point that instead of training six hours of day, I was doing therapy for six hours a day.

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Byrons Interviews

It was only a few weeks ago that the NXT Universe witnessed the debut match of one of the most offbeat and eccentric personalities to grace the roster, The Velveteen Dream, an individual one might describe as flamboyant, yet perplexing. We attempt to understand more about the entity known as The Velveteen Dream in this week’s interview. Prepare yourselves as we turn down the lights of clarity while flipping on the spotlight of intrigue.

WWE.COM: First off, let me offer my congratulations on your recent NXT victories on WWE Network. Tell us, just exactly who, or what, is The Velveteen Dream?

THE VELVETEEN DREAM: I don’t live in a prism, and I’m not afraid of anything. I haven’t built any walls around myself. I’m just like anyone else; I need love and water. I don’t really consider myself a “Superstar.” I live in a small town, and I always will because I can walk around and be me. That’s all I want to be; that’s all I ever try to be. If people dig it, cool.

WWE.COM: Is there a meaning behind your extremely unique appearance?

THE VELVETEEN DREAM: Prince played a big influence on my style. When I was 10 years old, my stepdad put me on the stage with him and I danced a little bit until the bodyguard took me off. As I exited the stage, I spotted the finest ensemble of backup dancers I had ever seen in my life. This is where I immediately felt his influence — the absolute control he had over this group and the beautiful women that always surrounded him.

WWE.COM: What does an individual like yourself enjoy doing in his spare time?

THE VELVETEEN DREAM: I don’t believe in time.

WWE.COM: Okay … What is your observation of the current NXT roster?

THE VELVETEEN DREAM: Can we be frank?

WWE.COM: Sure …

THE VELVETEEN DREAM: Top to bottom, left to right, the NXT roster reads, “complacency.” Then again, maybe it’s fear because if everyone isn’t happy with where they are in “Bobby Roode’s NXT,” then obviously they fear him because no one has successfully challenged him. Hello, Bobby.

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