Joseph Conners looks back at his time with NXT UK.
From 2016 to 2021, Joseph Conners worked with the WWE. His participation in the company’s England events as they expanded into the U.K. led to him being part of the NXT UK brand.
Last year, Conners wrapped up with WWE and returned to the independent scene full-time. He told the Wrestling With Johners Podcast that he’s proud of that period of his career. He added that he wishes he could have done more during that time.
Yeah, I mean I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I wouldn’t… I would like to be laying up even more stuff I’ve done there [NXT UK] but, no, definitely [was able to do a lot]. That first year, year-and-a-half, two years especially. Getting to do a SmackDown house show tour, on the road, on the buses, seven, eight nights, that was awesome. I mention someone like Kane. I grew up watching Kane and now I’m on a card with him, you know what I mean? Wembley Arena, places like that… That’s the kind of stuff we’re so fixated on; I need to do this, I need to be in better shape, I need to get here, I need to get there rather than just going, that was awesome, I did that. The 205 Live at The O2, that’s massive. I did two 205s. I can’t remember if it’s the first but we wrestled just after AJ [Styles] beat Jinder Mahal for the title. Just little things like that and then yeah, that’s awesome. I mean, I wish I would have been the one winning the first tournament or the second tournament but it wasn’t meant to be in that particular moment but as I said at the beginning of the call, I’m not counting myself out of anything at the moment but, no, I look back and I’m very proud I got to achieve, I got to do those things.
He dove into the vignettes he began to release after he departed WWE. Conners wanted to show a different side of himself. For Conners, it was about getting in front of a camera and expressing how he felt.
He said being in WWE made him a better in-ring performer but feels in some respects, his confidence staggered a bit being in that environment.
I wanted to input a lot of the things I learned the last few years as well [when I departed WWE] because being in that facility, it made me a better performer, better in-ring wrestler for starters and I also wanted to tell you where my mindset was. Like I said, my confidence was coming back. I would be lying if I didn’t say in some respects, my confidence had been jilted a little bit at times. I think it goes to being in those environments and I can’t speak for everybody, I can only speak for myself but, I just wanted to present something different and really take in how I truly feel to be honest. I worked with Bear Vision [Media], who do some really good work, as well as Elliot, another very good designer who does projects on the scene and I had a vision for what I wanted to say [in my post-WWE promo video]. But I didn’t sit and write my memoirs out or anything like that. I just wanted to get a camera in my face and sort of express my feelings and express my feelings towards myself because I got a lot of inner dialogue and I had a lot of thoughts over the last few years so, I just wanted to present who I am with the volume dialed up, you know? Because I’m not always dialed up to 11 every day of my life but when I’m in a professional wrestling environment, you have to be. So I just wanted to take that confidence, put my insecurities out there and let people know, look, I’m smashing through those now. I don’t really care. I don’t really care what anybody thinks. I mean there has been times in my life where I have cared… There’s so many talented people out there but I consider myself to be one of them.
The NXT UK brand is no longer operating. It is being rebranded as ‘NXT Europe’ which is going to launch in 2023. Paul ‘Triple H’ Levesque was asked about NXT Europe during WWE’s quarter three conference call.
If the quotes in this article are used, please credit Wrestling With Johners with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.