All Dijak has wanted out of pro wrestling is story.
The 2023 NXT Battleground event is taking place May 28th from Lowell, Massachusetts. There is going to be a Last Man Standing match on the show between Ilja Dragunov and Dijak.
Going into the bout, Dijak was interviewed by Stick to Wrestling and he dove into his program with Dragunov. He expressed that he’s enjoying it and all he’s ever wanted out of pro wrestling and his time in WWE is story.
Dijak added that the in-ring aspect is important to him and he wishes it was more important to the overall product. He feels that if a performer is being honest with themselves, they know the in-ring aspect is not as important in comparison to the story.
It’s been tremendous (Dijak said about his storyline with Ilja Dragunov). All I’ve ever wanted out of professional wrestling, especially with WWE is story. It’s funny because, like, me as a person and as a character and as a presentation, I feel like the focus always becomes the in-ring whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing. It’s certainly a passion of mine. I put all of my thought and all of my energy and all of my focus into the ring in-product because I train constantly. To this day, I’m training with the younger guys, just constantly. Most guys, they kind of stop training after a while, certainly consistently but I just have a consistent need especially if I’m not wrestling frequently and NXT doesn’t do a tremendous amount of house shows so I try to be in the ring doing matches, stuff like that. The in-ring is extremely, extremely important to me. I wish it was more important to the overall product but the reality is if you’re being honest with yourself as a performer, it’s not. It just isn’t. It’s the stories and the characters and those things end up becoming more important and valuable to the consumer, to the fan and I recognize that as a consumer and as a fan.
Dijak spent a lengthy amount of time talking about the no-fans time period of WWE. He specifically touched on when the company filmed events out of the Performance Center in Florida.
He shared that there were a list of wrestlers who were not allowed to be shown on-camera but were present for the matches to make noise. This came up as he was talking about the Intercontinental Championship match between Bryan Danielson and A.J. Styles on SmackDown.
The A.J. Styles, Bryan Danielson match or Daniel Bryan match at the P.C. where they did that because they had all the wrestlers and I was off in a corner hiding because I was one who — there’s so many stories about the pandemic but, there was a list of wrestlers who weren’t allowed to be on TV but we had to be there just for the sake of noise. So I’m standing off-camera just screaming really loudly (he laughed). Great match by the way. Super fun to watch, all things being considered of the pandemic.
To read Dijak’s comments about the RETRIBUTUION group, his time as T-BAR and his meetings with Vince McMahon, click here.
If the quotes in this article are used, please credit Stick to Wrestling with an H/T to POST Wrestling for the transcriptions.