On this episode of WWE Chronicle, we get an in-depth look at the Archer of Infamy, Damian Priest. It is available on-demand on Peacock and WWE Network now. The documentary takes place from January 31st, 2021 to April 27th 2021, in which we learn about Damian Priest’s path which led him to WWE. He speaks about living in Puerto Rico, the Bronx, his struggles making it to WWE, and his dream of competing at Wrestlemania.
The documentary begins with Damian Priest talking about growing up. He was born in Bronx, New York but moved to Puerto Rico at a young age after his parents split. Priest says it was hard growing up in Puerto Rico during the 1990s. Nothing was given to you and if you had anything it was earned which made you appreciate it. Priest spoke about watching wrestling in Puerto Rico and loving Carlos Colon who was the reason why he joined the business. He even recalled being inspired by Carlos’ son, Carlito who was a former WWE superstar. Later on, he would move back to New York, living with his father, and started practicing martial arts. For Priest, there was a difference being raised by his mother compared to his father since his father was strict. However, Priest says looking back at it, he believes if his father had raised him any differently he might be where he is at today. Unfortunately, martial arts was not lucrative resulting in his father closing his school and moving away. Priest says during this time he was not sure what to do with his life so he was doing odd jobs. It was not until one of his high school friends encouraged him to try pursuing his dream of being a professional wrestler. This was a difficult time for the Bronx native as he had to work different jobs while wrestling. However, he thanks music for helping him find peace of mind. Looking at an old picture of himself, Priest described it as his downward spiral. Even though he was given advice by WWE members to help him become better, Priest took at it as an insult. He would start blaming everyone but himself and became lazier. However, it would not be until the day he was offered a promotion by his employer but asked to give up wrestling when he took his dream seriously. He would quit his job and continue to pursue wrestling.
We then go to the day of the Royal Rumble where Priest looks at the Royal Rumble stage. Priest says it is a big deal and is not sure if he can hang but will figure out a way to do so. We see highlights of Damian making his debut in the Royal Rumble match which saw him eliminate Kane, The Miz, and Morrison. The night after the Royal Rumble, the former NXT North American Champion would make his debut on Raw, defeating The Miz. Speaking after his debut victory, Priest says there is no end goal and always strives for something more. A few days later, we see him and Riddle throwing a baseball. Priest mentions his history of working with Riddle on the indies, and even winning tag team gold together. Riddle says Damian has been through a lot in his life. For him, while everyone wants to work for this business, Damian needed this. We see Priest’s WWE tryout in 2015, which he cut a lot of weight and says was the hardest three days of his life. Unfortunately, he would not be signed as the company did not have anything for him. Every year after he would contact WWE but would receive the same answer. Believing he would not make it in WWE, Priest would continue to do his thing until he was signed in October of 2018. At the start, he knew he was not perfect but worked to get there. It was not until his match against Finn Balor at NXT Takeover: In Your House when it clicked for him. He remembers after the match backstage being approached by Shawn Michaels and Triple H who said that is the guy he needs to be.
Priest would then talk about treating his body positively as he goes to his chiropractor. He says there is a friendship with his chiropractor because they care for him not only as a patient but being proud of him for his accomplishments. Speaking about his favorite part of being Damian Priest, he spoke about his swag which he feeds off of Razor Ramon/Scott Hall because he oozes machismo and was a huge fan of. While in NXT, The Archer of Infamy picked Hall’s brain and even asked to do a tribute to him with his gear. He even mentioned being nervous to ask permission to use the Razor’s Edge but was given the blessing from The Bad Guy himself.
On his match at Wrestlemania, Damian said he felt drained the last 24 hours because of the emotions going through his mind. However, once he arrived at the building, everything changed. Priest says Wrestlemania is a necessity even though he attended as a fan. To him, it is about his legacy and purpose because to brag his name, he needs to perform a Wrestlemania, or else he is saying empty words. We see Priest doing virtual meet and greet with fans which he described as the cherry on top. Afterward, there is a highlight video of his Wrestlemania match with Bad Bunny against Miz and Morrison. After the match, Bad Bunny and Priest get a standing ovation backstage. Bad Bunny spoke about Priest and saying it was a pleasure to share the moment with him and will cherish it forever. Priest would go to a space behind the stage, crying after experiencing the emotional moment, saying he did it. When asked what would he tell his old self, a choked-up Priest says he should not waste his time and work for his dream. He ends by saying “don’t be this, be the one who works for his dream” as a crumbles the paper and throws it away.
Aneil’s Take: It was another great documentary, this time focusing on Damian Priest’s life and career. I love these types of documentaries because it shows a different side of the superstar. I think hearing the story of Priest and overcoming his struggles can be relatable for a young person who is trying to pursue their dream and needs inspiration.
While I was not a big fan of Priest in NXT, I think he has grown on me since his main roster debut. I think his character has a rockstar superstar vibe and would be a guy that fans will gravitate to once the live audience is back.