Meet new NXT Champion Adrian Neville
At NXT ArRIVAL, Adrian Neville entrenched himself in the WWE history books by defeating Bo Dallas and capturing the NXT Championship in what was NXT's first-ever Ladder Match. A week removed from the event,he buzz from the contest and NXT ArRIVAL continues. Neville sat down with WWE.com to discuss the future, his past and his brand-new title.
WWE.COM: Now that you've had some time to digest the feeling, what does being NXT Champion mean to you?
ADRIAN NEVILLE: The NXT Championship means everything to me. It’s more than just an accolade or just an achievement, this title means validation. The NXT Championship is a message to anyone and everyone that anything is possible.
WWE.COM: You find yourself now representing a movement for the next generation of WWE talent. How important is that to you?
NEVILLE: That’s hugely important for me. I’m surrounded by the Superstars of tomorrow, day in and day out, and there’s a fantastic atmosphere fueled by passion for this business. I’m proud to be at the forefront and to represent this crop of Superstars and Divas every time I compete. I want the world to see the dedication we have and that no matter what obstacles you encounter, let your passion drive you and let your ability speak for itself.
WWE.COM: You captured the NXT Championship by competing in the first Ladder Match of your career. What was that like?
NEVILLE: Being in a Ladder Match was an exhilarating experience, but it was right up my alley. It’s a match I predicted would be a perfect fit for ”The Man Who Gravity Forgot” and I wasn’t wrong. Despite my preparations, I was still surprised by the unpredictable nature of the match. As you saw, literally anything can happen and you never know what to expect.
WWE.COM: For fans who are unfamiliar with your background, tell us how you got started in sports-entertainment.
NEVILLE: I’ve been lucky enough to have been doing this for almost 10 years now. I learned the basics in a small wrestling school in my hometown of Newcastle Upon Tyne, England. After my debut, I competed up and down the United Kingdom where I excelled in high flying. As my reputation and success grew, I began traveling and competing all over Europe, America and even in Africa. In 2007, I received an invitation to fight in Japan, which had always been a dream of mine. I departed for Japan in July of that year, and became a permanent fixture there for five years. That’s really where I developed into both the athlete and person I am today. I learned great lessons of respect and honor while traveling all across the Land of the Rising Sun.
WWE.COM: Was there a reason you didn't try joining WWE earlier in your career?
NEVILLE:I had a path I needed to follow. I had to experience all the styles of the world and become the most well-versed and well-rounded competitor I could possibly be. My vision was to be a hybrid grappler.
WWE.COM:One of the first things fans notice about you is your exceptional physical stature and shape. What does your diet plan consist of?
NEVILLE: I have a diet that is very high in protein with a good mix of fruits and vegetables. I’m always trying to get stronger and increase power, so I need a lot of protein to feed my muscles. I keep my workouts as varied as possible. I body-build and powerlift and I incorporate athletic and conditioning work to ensure I’m as prepared as I possibly can be for the demands of the ring. I also strongly believe in playing other sports that help develop all aspects of strength and fitness. I like to play soccer (football in my country), roller hockey, basketball and tennis as much as I can.
WWE.COM: How did you develop such incredible agility?
NEVILLE: People call me “The Man Who Gravity Forgot." In reality, I was also the baby that gravity forgot, the kid that gravity forgot and the teenager that gravity forgot. As far as I can remember, I’ve always been a little jumping Geordie. My mam would tell me stories of how I would be relentlessly climbing, jumping, bouncing and flipping without fear. I guess it’s in my blood. As I grew older, I refined my natural abilities into acrobatic attacks and strikes that I could use in the ring. Now, I maintain my agility and speed in the gym and through sport.
WWE.COM: What has been the coolest thing about being part of NXT?
NEVILLE: Getting to work with all these talented and passionate people on a daily basis is such a pleasure. But I’ve gotta admit, getting to perform live in front of our amazing NXT Universe at Full Sail and all over the world watching at home is probably the coolest thing. I’m very excited to be part of the future as it unfolds.
WWE.com: You had WWE COO Triple H and John Cena lend their endorsements to you following your victory. What did that mean to you?
NEVILLE: Not only are Triple H and John Cena industry leaders, they are both friends of mine who I have enormous respect for on both a personal and professional level. After traveling the world and doing this for so long outside of WWE, the sense of validation I feel as a result of their endorsement is indescribably gratifying.
WWE.COM: What's your goal as NXT Champion?
NEVILLE: Right now is a very exciting time to be in NXT. In the wake of NXT ArRIVAL and the launch of WWE Network, we have a lot of eyes on us. People are excited about the next generation of WWE superstars and as champion I represent us all. I will be an example and show the world what NXT means. We’re young, hungry, dedicated, passionate, determined and highly skilled. I will encourage challengers and strive to be a champion the NXT roster and NXT Universe alike can be proud of.