Full speed ahead for Apollo Crews
“I just want to fit right in and bring what I can to the table.”
Those were the hopeful words of Apollo Crews shortly after signing his official WWE contract to join the ranks of NXT this past April. Fast forward to a thrilling debut at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn, along with an undefeated streak to match, and it would seem that Crews is doing much more than just fitting in.
“To me, it still feels like a dream,” Crews told WWE.com. “To debut in front of almost 16,000 people was an amazing feeling that I can't describe in words. I wish that everybody got to experience what I got to experience in their lifetime. The fact that it was my birthday made it that much better because it was the best birthday gift I've ever received in my life. Sometimes I still wake up and feel like it never happened.”
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Fortunately for Crews and the rest of the NXT Universe, not only did TakeOver: Brooklyn happen, but the journey in NXT is only beginning for the man who aims to be the brand’s most complete Superstar.
“I often get told by many they've never seen a guy who can do what I do in the ring,” Crews said. “I want to be to the complete package by having all angles and aspects covered. I don’t want to do all things well — I want everything I do to be great. Some people like to settle for less, I always have to strive and keep pushing for more.”
From NXT Champion Finn Bálor to Samoa Joe to Tyler Breeze, the NXT roster’s highly acclaimed talent level continually forces its Superstars and Divas to raise their game. As a direct result, any new Superstar who joins the roster is often filled with intimidation and nerves. Though Crews can vouch that he has experienced similar emotions, the chiseled Superstar says that the NXT environment has been extremely encouraging.
“I can tell a lot of the boys and the coaches want me to do well,” he said. “A lot of the feedback I get is honest, which I appreciate. There's nothing worse than somebody telling you what you want to hear and not being 100-percent honest with you, so I am glad to have that here.”
After earning a successful win this week against Solomon Crowe, Crews’ sights are set on NXT Takeover: Respect on Oct. 7. While Crews’ potential involvement at the event is still unknown, expectations for his career trajectory have clearly been set high. Crews sees it as the ideal situation to use as a tool of continued motivation.
“All I can do is go out there and give everything I have,” he explained. “My mom watched me at Takeover: Brooklyn and said she was amazed, and it was only the second time she’s seen me wrestle. My dad very frequently lets me know how proud he is, and extended family in Nigeria, that I don't even know or have met, have also reached out and expressed how proud they are. My kid sister, who isn't even a fan of wrestling, watched me. The NXT fans have shown me nothing but love, too. I appreciate all the support, and it makes me push that much harder.
Follow Apollo Crews on Twitter @ApolloCrews.