Tye Dillinger recently spoke with Rolling Stone about his WWE career and more. Some fans might not know that Dillinger began his wrestling career back in 2002 and was signed by WWE back in 2006. He was assigned to the company’s developmental territory, Ohio Valley Wrestling (OVW) at the time and then called up to the ECW brand in 2008. His first run with the company ended in 2009. He returned to WWE in 2013 and placed in NXT. When asked about his journey through WWE’s developmental brand. He admitted that it was frustrating in the beginning as developmental was so different at the time. However, now he doesn’t consider NXT a developmental brand anymore but rather a brand in its own right.
“So many guys were able to develop a following while in NXT. Look at guys like Finn Balor, or Kevin Owens, or even Seth Rollins in the early days. Look at the Royal Rumble. I came out at the number 10 spot, and there was a great reaction. That’s just a testament to how far NXT has come in a very short amount of time. My first time around in WWE, there wasn’t the WWE Network. We weren’t as big. It was much harder to crack through and get to the audience. There was much more of a competitive nature. It was just really hard to break through that glass ceiling. Now, we’re worldwide. NXT is worldwide. It’s still competitive to get to the WWE of course, but with that following, we want to put on a great product no matter where we are. There’s such a big difference between then and now. I wake up and thank myself every day that I was given a second opportunity.”
After spending nearly four years in NXT, Dillinger was called up to the main roster and placed on the SmackDown Live brand last month. Although Dillinger has yet to be placed in a feud with top Superstars, the company has pushed him and had him work again lower tier Superstars such as Curt Hawkins and Aiden English. When asked who he wants to wrestle on the blue brand, he has several names in mind.
“The Miz is one guy I’d like to work with, because I think we could do some pretty incredible things. At the moment though, on Smackdown, in no particular order: Tyler Breeze, Dolph Ziggler, Randy Orton and AJ Styles. Ziggler I’ve known for years. We used to work together way back in the FCW days. Tyler Breeze is an incredible talent. I worked with him a little bit in NXT, but not to the level where I had hoped. That guy is severely underrated as a talent. AJ Styles and Randy Orton, I’ve never worked with them before. I don’t need to give you any of their accolades, the world knows them already. Those two right now are the best at what we do in this industry. They’re the top of the top.”
Dillinger also talked about his character, the “Ten” count chants, and more. You can read the full interview here.