Exclusive Q&A with Dominik Dijakovic: Who is NXT’s new five-tool Superstar?
After making a bold, victorious statement last month, Dominik Dijakovic has put the entire NXT brand on notice. The 6-foot-7, 270-pound Superstar comes to NXT armed with a vast array of experience, both in and out of the ring, and an unrelenting passion to sacrifice for all things family. This week, WWE.com sits down to learn a little bit more about one of NXT’s newest Superstars.
WWE.COM: Who is Dominik Dijakovic?
DOMINIK DIJAKOVIC: Dominik Dijakovic is the physical embodiment of a lifetime’s worth of struggle, discipline, sacrifice and failure.
WWE.COM: Prior to your debut, we witnessed a number of vignettes displaying your training techniques while speaking on your beliefs. One of those videos highlighted your willingness to fight for your family. Can you expound on this?
DIJAKOVIC: Family is everything. They gave me life, figuratively and literally. I owe them an unpayable debt. To succeed collectively, you must be willing to sacrifice individually. We will fight for each other and we would die for each other.
WWE.COM: What is your family’s ethnic background?
DIJAKOVIC: Croatian, Italian and Hungarian. Collectively unified in America. Symbolized by the family crest coat of arms on my right thigh.
WWE.COM: You display a very stern demeanor. What’s the motivation for such intensity?
DIJAKOVIC: There are many emotions evoked from the broad spectrum of humanity. In my experience, the only emotion that consistently delivers success is focus. My focus is channeled through my intensity, forged from a lifetime of despair.
WWE.COM: Your experience includes quite the athletic background.
DIJAKOVIC: Athleticism was a mandatory expectation in my upbringing. I competed collegiately at an elite level in both American football and basketball simultaneously. This afforded me the resources to attend university and receive an undergraduate and graduate degree in criminology.
WWE.COM: I understand you once worked as a criminal defense investigator. How was that experience?
DIJAKOVIC: I have been employed in every imaginable trade. On a farm, stocking liquor, as security, in social work, as a coach, in retail, even selling dog food. I worked three jobs at once for many years. This taught me discipline and humility. Anything for family. As a criminal defense investigator, it was my job to retrieve information by any means necessary from people who were often unwilling to comply. This taught me manipulation and relentlessness, both mentally and physically.
WWE.COM: What attracted you to the world of sports-entertainment?
DIJAKOVIC: The pursuit of prosperity for my family. Sports-entertainment is a medium, an untapped resource for someone of my skill set. There has never been a five-tool player like me in the history of this business until now. My successes will ensure the legacy of my family endures for many generations to come.
DIJAKOVIC: You initially had a WWE tryout several years ago before officially signing with NXT in fall 2017. Were there any other notable names at that tryout?
DIJAKOVIC: In June of 2013 I attended the final WWE tryout at Florida Championship Wrestling in Tampa, Fla. I don’t know who else was there because I don’t waste time worrying about the accomplishments of others as those are distractions which will deter my focus. My goal was to obtain a WWE contract and I failed. In my life, I have failed countless times. Over and over and over again. And that is why Dominik Dijakovic will succeed.
WWE.COM: I take it you were motivated by your inability to obtain a job with WWE after that 2013 tryout?
DIJAKOVIC: Failure is a catalyst. Failure is a motivator. Failure is perspective. Once you live it, you learn it and understand it. Then, and only then do you know exactly how to make sure that it never happens again.
WWE.COM: What makes you stand out from other NXT Superstars?
DIJAKOVIC: Dominik Dijakovic is a five-tool player unlike anyone else in NXT, Raw, SmackDown or the history of WWE. Striking — precision, accuracy and proficiency honed through countless fights and years of training. Technical — grinding, efficiency. I was trained by Brian Fury at the New England Pro Wrestling Academy, the disciples of Steve Bradley and Killer Kowalski. Psychological — intelligence, manipulation and focus. I’m a scholar and laborer, impossible to outwork or outlast. Athleticism — world-class, untouchable. The X factor. Power. I am 6-foot-7, 270 pounds. I am Dominik Dijakovic. Feast your eyes.