Anthony Henry Discusses His WWE Run, Considering Retirement, The Backstage Vibe At AEW, CM Punk & More!

I only brought up Evolve just because I thought it was a really interesting time for that company. Cause it was basically kind of like a feeder for WWE at the time. I didn’t know if you got that vibe or not when you were there.

oh no Definitely was. When I was working for Evolve, it didn’t start out that way, but it wasn’t long after we came into the fray that it became that. That was when they started the connection with NXG and WWE. And then, especially the last, I don’t know, the last year, especially, it would evolve. Every show was pretty much, this NXT talent’s coming in NXT, this guy’s coming in, this person’s coming in.

So I experienced that, of course. I even wrestled Roger Strong on one of those shows, when he was part of NXT, in New York. And at the end, we kind of became the top main event people there, Drake and I. And we both knew the reason why it was our hard work, but the goal at that point was to try to do something with NXT or WWE .

Yeah. And could you feel the excitement building then? I mean, after all the stuff you’d been through and kind of knowing, “Hey, there’s a big opportunity here that’s not too far off on the horizon possibly.”

Yeah, for sure. Because we knew if Gabe… Obviously the broker/promoter of Evolve… If Gabe was super high on us and he was kind of reporting this back to WWE, then it obviously meant something to them. And we’d have situations where William Regal would come in and take specific looks at us, and things like that. And, so, it was always a super cool process. People have whatever they say about Gabe and Evolve and et cetera, but my experience, Drake’s experience, I can tell you firsthand from talking to him as well, is that it was always positive.

I learned so much at Evolve Wrestling. I learned not only from competing against other people who were so much better than me at the time, and not only through that process, but just from Gabe himself. And just from the pressure that was put on us to perform at such a high level. Once you do that for a while, a good while, you get used to that.

Yeah.

It’s really hard to break you mentally, any show. So, it definitely paved the way for me to be able to go later on of course, from WWE and other things. Because by the time I got there, I was used to it. I was used to the pressure and being on TV and stuff.

Yeah, man.

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