WWE Star Neville Opens Up About His First Year
“The Man That Gravity Forgot” is a powerful nickname you have to live up to.
Neville most certainly fits that mold.
The former NXT champion has been an electrifying force since his WWE debut in March and is already on his way to a Hall of Fame type career.
This Sunday at Money in the Bank, Neville will take his high-flying skills into a ladder match that will determine who gets a guaranteed WWE World Heavyweight Championship shot at any time of their choosing. That honor has been held by many of the greats and Neville may be next in line.
Fortunately for us, “The New Sensation” spoke with us about his first year in the WWE, his idol, NXT, John Cena, internet rumors, friends on the roster, his big chance this Sunday, and more.
CraveOnline: Can you tell us when and how you found out you were being moved up to the main roster?
Neville: So I moved up to the main roster the night after WrestleMania on Monday Night Raw. I found out the day of. I was told that I would be debuting that night. I heard rumors leading up to a week before the actual show but it was the day of that I was told I would be on Raw that evening.
CraveOnline: You’ve been on the main roster for a little over two months now and you have been very successful and you have had some great matches with top talent. How do you feel about your transition so far?
Neville: I think I have been fortunate enough, like you said to be able to mix it up with some of the top talent. Not everybody gets an opportunity like that coming off the block and I did. I’m very grateful for that. That really helped my transition, you know? Getting those chances and not necessarily winning all those matches but just showing the world what I was capable of and the possibilities that could be in store for the future…was really for me.
CraveOnline: I know you guys have a brutal travel schedule so we got to know what do you do when you’re not in the ring and who are you hanging out with on the road?
Neville: It’s crazy busy. What do I do when I’m not in the ring? Working out, doing interviews, just being kept really busy. The guys I hang out with on the road…I’m great friends with a lot of the guys. I feel like the roster is filled with amazing talent and great people but guys I’m particularly close with are guys like Cesaro, Tyson Kidd, a lot of the guys in NXT I’ve known for prior to that but I’m good friends with all of those guys. Everybody is really cool though. I get a long with everybody.
CraveOnline: You brought up NXT and I’m sure you’re aware that the WWE Universe are huge fans of NXT. You’re big part of that success and a lot of the guys from NXT are blowing up right now. Is there camaraderie amongst you guys? Do you take pride in that?
Neville: Yeah. There’s a great energy and atmosphere down in NXT. NXT is an amazing brand that has truly come into its own and made a name for itself. It was great in NXT and there was a great camaraderie and you really feel what you see on television. It was kind of bittersweet moving on from NXT but it is certainly a time in my life I will look back on fondly and a time I’m proud of.
Money In The Bank
CraveOnline: Let’s talk a little bit about Money in the Bank coming up on Sunday. You have a chance to grab that career-changing briefcase for a title shot. What can we expect this Sunday?
Neville: That’s a hard question because in a match especially in a ladder match there are so many variables. There are so many guys and so many scenarios. You never know what’s going to play out. So I’m not sure what you can expect. Honestly, what can you expect? I don’t exactly know but I do know whatever happens it’s going to be carnage, lots of excitement, and certainly the most important match in my career to date. I’ll be looking to grab any opportunity I can and make a name for myself and to make myself famous. I think regardless of the outcome, it’s going to be a spectacle in itself.
CraveOnline: I agree. I assume there are going to be a ton of high spots with you and Kofi Kingston and a lot of big guys so it’s going to be an interesting dynamic.
CraveOnline: You’re known as “The Man That Gravity Forgot.” How did you develop these insane aerial moves and was there ever a time you were nervous to try something?
Neville: You know, I don’t have any gymnastics background to speak of but I learned a lot of my moves myself when I started wrestling. I was always a high flyer, the cruiserweight style so I kind of built my moves up myself. There are always nerves because you’d have to be stupid to not have that and I find that learning all of my stuff, the majority of it was mental. It was about putting the fears you have in your own head and acrobatic stuff doesn’t come naturally to human beings. You have to kind of have to get past these boundaries in your head. That was kind of the battle I had learning all of this stuff if that makes sense?
CraveOnline: You have already had a great career so far with a lot of years left. What has been the most memorable moment for you in your career?
Neville: There have been so many. I couldn’t have asked for a better career to date. I’ve been able to travel the world. I’ve got to wrestle in Japan for 5 years. I have so many good memories. I have been so lucky and the most recent one was certainly wrestling John Cena on Raw. It was a very surreal moment for my personally. I find it hard to just choose one because I’ve been so fortune to have such a fun career and now I’m just kind of getting started, you know?
CraveOnline: When you faced John Cena that night, what did he say? What were his thoughts on matching up with you that night?
Neville: He gave me a lot of advice. John is someone who is really competitive himself so I think he welcomes this fresh new challenge that presents to himself. He was very complimentary of the match and I think I pushed him a lot more than he thought I was going to so…it was very cool. It was a very cool experience for me.
CraveOnline: Did you grow up as a WWE fan? If so, did you have a particular favorite wrestler?
Neville: Yeah, I did. I grew up from the young age watching the WWF/WWE. I’ve got a lot of favorite wrestlers. Again, its’ hard to choose one but if I had to choose just a single one, it would be Dynamite Kid. That was someone I certainly looked up to and has been an inspiration to me. He would be my favorite but there are so many other guys like Eddie (Guerrero), Shawn Michaels, Rey Rey. It’s a long list.
What’s up with the name?
CraveOnline: I understand it was your decision to drop Adrian and just go by Neville because of the musician Aaron Neville.
Neville: [Laughs] Yeah.
CraveOnline: Do you listen to his music [laughs]?
Neville: Yeah, I didn’t have a clue who Aaron Neville was and I just knew that people were calling me Aaron Neville on a daily basis so I actually found out about Aaron Neville through people calling me the wrong name. I think it’s very similar so that is why I wanted to drop it so there wouldn’t be a mistake. Neville is also more palpable. If you look at my character, I just think Neville was more fitting to the superhero character.
CraveOnline: I have to ask, there were a ton of rumors about a Mighty Mouse gimmick. Was that actually true?
Neville: That’s just a rumor. I don’t know where it came from but that was just an internet rumor. I guess that’s just the nature of the Internet. You read the wildest things and you’re not sure where they came from. But I don’t think there was much truth to that or if it was something blown out of proportion.
CraveOnline: Lastly, what do you hope to accomplish for the rest of the year?
Neville: [Laughs] That’s a hard question to answer. I’m very motivated. You never know what’s going to happen. I’m just hoping to keep getting the opportunities I have been getting and making the most of them and just try to enjoy this wild roller coaster life that is my first year in the WWE.
Photos courtesy of WWE
Joshua Caudill is a writer for CraveOnline Sports, a surfing enthusiast, an unhealthy sports fanatic, and an expert on all things Patrick Swayze. You can follow him on Twitter @JoshuaCaudill85 or “like” CraveOnline Sports on Facebook.