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Arik Royal on the growth of Cameron Grimes, start his wrestling career compared to where he is now

Andrew Thompson of Post Wrestling sent us the following highlights from his interview with Arik Royal:

Arik Royal talks about the growth of NXT’s Cameron Grimes/seeing Grimes start his wrestling career versus where he is now: “In 2009, this little skinny, big head kid Trevor Lee comes in, 14-years old and I didn’t know who he was but I knew — see, I train in Sanford [North Carolina] now… and he was training out here, out in Sanford and then his dad, he used to work for OMEGA, he knew coach Jim and I and he brought him up to one of our shows and the rest is pretty much history. I had a 14-year old and a 15-year old kid pushing me to get better because I saw the look in their eyes and the work ethic that Trevor put in to get to where he’s at now, but that helped me because I was like, ‘I gotta keep up with this kid because if I can keep up with him, then I know that I’ll be able to be and keep up with anybody in the ring around the world,’ because to me and I’m not just trying to sound bias because I’m close to him but to me, I feel like he’s one of the best wrestlers in the world and you know, WWE is slowly and surely showing that here and there. They’re showing it with his character and everything, but I’m telling you man, you already know. They go out there and let him have a Trevor Lee match, a Trevor Lee CWF match, these people are gonna be like, ‘Yo, this Cameron Grimes dude is legit’ and I’m just gonna be sitting there like, ‘Duh, been legit bro….’ he definitely helped motivate me.”

Arik Royal on if he desires to be signed exclusively to a wrestling company or not: “Well I feel like… obviously the easy answer is yes, I would love to get signed somewhere and make money doing what I love to do which is wrestling and entertaining the crowd and putting my body on the line for the crowd to be entertained. But, the long answer is I just wanna go out there and be able to — if I go and get out there in front of a major company, it’s like, ‘Hey, we’re gonna give you a match. You got six minutes, show me what you got.’ Like, okay. That ain’t no problem bruh. That’s a walk in the park for me. The decision [is] not gonna be hard for me. The decision’s gonna be hard for you, and it shouldn’t be. If I go out there and kill it and then you try and test me again, I go out there and kill it again and keep killing it, then you have no choice but to sign me…

But like I said, I would love to get signed so I can showcase what I’m capable of, but at the same time man, there’s so many matches that I wanna do on the independent scene and a lot of people are making more money in the independent scene what they’re doing [than] getting signed. So, that’s the other side. Do you wanna get signed and make money or are you making enough money right now, not signed and do you want to continue to do that? And some people are happy doing that and some people are happy getting signed so, if I’m able to get signed first, great. But if I’m able to go out here and make money off independent wrestling and make just as much money doing that, then I’d be much happier — it wouldn’t [make] any difference to me I guess, to be honest. Whichever comes first.”

Arik feels that he’s one of the best wrestlers in the world right now: “You know, it’s different. It’s definitely different because you’re used to wrestling in front of larger crowds and having more eyes on you and you’re able to be face-to-face with people and get your stuff out there and sell that merchandise, but for me honestly man, it’s definitely helped myself because it’s definitely helped me become more creative, as far as getting myself out there more because I feel like talent-wise, I’m one of the best wrestlers on this planet and I’m not trying to sound cocky. I’m just really confident in my abilities man. Like, I know I can go toe-to-toe and hang with any of the best wrestlers out there in the world and I know that I’m able to go out there and tell a good story with any of those guys and go out there and tear it up man. For me, it’s given me that perspective as to how can I give myself more looks and more notoriety by showing — they know what I can do in the ring but what can I do as far as character work and character development because I do a lot of my talking in the ring, instead of just going out and cutting a promo here and there so…”

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