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Chris Brookes was offered a spot on WWE NXT UK when the brand launched, explains why he turned it down

During Andrew Thompson's chat with Chris Brookes, the current DDT Pro Wrestling talent explained why he chose to turn down the opportunity to join NXT UK when the brand first launched.

VIDEO link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iwKAEB-jGQ4
WRITTEN link: https://www.postwrestling.com/2022/06/14/interview-chris-brookes-details-how-he-started-with-ddt-pro-reflects-on-teaming-with-jon-gresham-turning-down-nxt-uk/

Brookes: For me, WWE was never my goal in wrestling. I think I watched WWE when I was a kid obviously and then when I was like 10 or 11 years old, I kind of had that period where I fell out of interest with wrestling for a little bit and then what got me back into it was there was a TV station called The Wrestling Channel for a short while in the U.K. and they would show a bunch of indie wrestling. It was the first time I saw Ring of Honor and CZW and they would show Pro Wrestling NOAH and stuff on there which kind of led me down the rabbit hole into discovering all the indie companies in Japan and me becoming a fan of Big Japan and DDT and stuff like that so, I don’t know if it’s necessarily — I think I just — I guess I just have a different perspective to a lot of people but I think sometimes people’s judgment gets stuck in one place in terms of goals maybe? Obviously, there’s a lot of my generation that came up watching WWF, WCW or in the Attitude, Monday Night Raw era or whatever and I think for a lot of people, they have the same story as me in like they found other things and they watched other things and that took their interest but, for whatever reason, their goal stays fixated on that one thing being WWE because it’s like, ‘Oh, I watched it when I was kid. That’s my dream, I wanna go there’ or whatever but I think you have to realistically look at it in a sense of even if that was what you loved growing up, it’s so different these days to what it was when you were a fan of it, when you were a kid or whatever and for me especially, I just look at WWE now and then a few years ago, it was just never a goal for me. My goal was always to go to Japan and do stuff over there and I never really had any interest in not even just going but like, I remember around the same time, there was a lot of people who like, they wanted a tryout so they could try and get an opportunity. It just never — even that didn’t appeal to me. I got offered the tryout I think in 2017… so I got offered the tryout thing first and I remember when they called me, I was like — I think I spoke to maybe Pete Dunne about it at the time and I was like, ‘They’ve offered me a tryout thing but I don’t think I’m gonna go.’ He was like, ‘What do you mean you’re not gonna go?’ I was like, ‘…There’s nothing that I wanna get out of it. It doesn’t feel worthwhile going’ and I think he convinced me. He was like, ‘Even if you don’t wanna get anything from it, you should still go just to get the experience’ which he’s right. I’m glad I got to do it and have that tryout [at] The O2 [Arena] and stuff. It was a cool two days and whatever and then when they decided they wanted to start the U.K. brand, I guess maybe a year or so after, they offered me a position in it, but they offered so many people contracts and whatever but like, they really cast a wide net at the time and they offered me one of the deals, same as the other guys and I thought about it.

I think the initial one was like a year or two years thing and I guess if that’s 2018, I was 27-ish around that time and my mentality towards it was like, of course it’s only two years or whatever but no one knew how it was gonna pan out, no one knew what the exclusivity to it would be and I didn’t feel done by any means with doing indie wrestling and stuff that I wanted to do and my goal was always Japan and I was like, if it’s two years, I’m 27, 28 now. By the time it ends, I’ll already be 29, 30, which is not old or near the end of your career but, I looked at those two years and I thought those two years, that period from 28 to 30, whatever it is, I think it’s important. Those are gonna be critical years to your development as a wrestler and you know, what you wanna do and I was like, I don’t wanna spend those years potentially in a situation that I don’t wanna be in or not enjoying it and my goal was Japan and I said no to the thing, which a lot of people at the time told me I was crazy, that I had like — at the time too, I had no in to Japan in any way. It was still a very unattainable thing. It was kind of like one of those quiet goals that you don’t wanna — I didn’t say to people at the time. I said no because I wanna go to Japan because it seemed like going to Japan — I couldn’t imagine it being a thing that would happen. It was just in the back of my mind. It was like, I’d love to do that one day and I don’t wanna potentially not be able to do it because of doing something that I really don’t wanna be doing and then everyone was like, ‘Oh, you’re an idiot, you’re stupid. Why did you say no?’ Blah, blah, blah… all that kind of jazz and I was like, ‘Eh, it’s fine, whatever.’

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