I give it a ten. Tye Dillinger’s main roster debut was one of the highlights of Wrestlemania weekend. The fans had been dying to cheer for him for months now as his TEN gimmick has taken the company by storm. What people might not know is that he’s spent the better part of ten years in WWE’s developmental territory, which means he has a lot of stories to tell.

Dillinger was recently interested by “Rolling Stone” on a variety of topics, including his WWE main roster debut, his dream opponents, and what it meant to feud with and defeat the man who helped train him to wrestle: Eric Young. Here are a few highlights of the rather lengthy interview:

On His Final NXT Feud with Young

“To finish my time there inside of a steel cage with a guy like Eric Young, what a moment. It was very unexpected. You have a four month long battle come to an end on our home turf at Full Sail University. I have a lot of history with Eric Young, he actually trained me in the very beginning of my career. We go back a very long way. To have that kind of moment in Full Sail, in front of that crowd, with that guy, bringing everything to an end, was a very bittersweet moment for me.”

On His Brief Run on WWE’s ECW

“Looking at it now, I can absolutely say yes. Who knows what would have happened if I had stayed around my first time in WWE. Let’s say I had been called up for good on ECW like you spoke of. What would have happened? Would I have become a Perfect Ten? Probably not. Would I have found my niche and have the audience reacting to me the way they are now? Who knows.

“It’s easy now to look back and say that I need all those ups and downs. It’s very hard when you are in those difficult positions to look at it and say that this is just the hard part, and that everything will get better. I believe that if you stay positive and you keep your nose to the ground and you keep working hard for every inch that eventually will pay off and something will roll your way.

“But it’s also very hard to do that when things seem very dim. Anything worth chasing takes time though, not just in the entertainment business, but in life in general. That’s one thing that the world of sports entertainment has taught me. So, to go back to your question, I don’t think I’d be the man today, and I’m very proud of the man I am today, if I hadn’t gone through those moments.”

And on Potential Matchups He’s Interested in Having

“I’ve been thinking about this, and I have a top four, in no particular order. One guy I had on the list actually just got shipped over to Raw, and he was at the top of my list, and that’s The Miz. Miz is one guy I’d like to work with, because I think we could do some pretty incredible things.

“At the moment though, on Smackdown, in no particular order: Tyler Breeze, Dolph Ziggler, Randy Orton and AJ Styles. Ziggler I’ve known for years. We used to work together way way back in the FCW days. Tyler Breeze is an incredible talent. I worked with him a little bit in NXT, but not to the level where I had hoped. That guy is severely underrated as a talent. AJ Styles and Randy Orotn, I’ve never worked with them before. I don’t need to give you any of their accolades, the world knows them already. Those two right now are the best at what we do in this industry. They’re the top of the top.”

You can read the full interview here.

Opinion: I don’t know if Dillinger is going to make it on the main roster. His in-ring work is certainly adequate and he has an incredibly popular gimmick but I’m not sure if the fans are cheering for him as much as they’re cheering for the cheer. Either way, it’s nice to see someone like him make it to the main roster, even if it doesn’t work out in the long term.

Tye Dillinger debuts against Curt Hawkins: SmackDown LIVE, April 4, 2017

How far do you see Dillinger going? Does he have a shelf life outside of the Perfect Ten? Let us know in the comments below.


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