After taking the wrestling world by storm by becoming the first ever WWE United Kingdom champion back in January, it has been a whirlwind five months for Tyler Bate.
Defending his title on NXT shows, and continuing to showcase his talents across the independent circuit, Bate is one of the hottest properties in wrestling right now.
VultureHound had the opportunity to catch up with the man from Dudley before the historic tapings of WWE UK show, which is set to air on the WWE network in this Friday.
For the 20-year-old this is the first time he has been on the road with the WWE and he said he is excited to see how far he and his fellow WWE UK competitors can push the envelope.
“It has been a fantastic experience so far, I mean I grew up watching a lot of these guys that I am now on the road with,” Bate told VultureHound.
“For example Randy Orton in particular, I was a huge Randy Orton fan so now getting to share a locker room with him is pretty cool. I am just really excited to see how far this how thing with the WWE UK can go and where we can go as performers.”
While winning the UK Championship at the start of the year may have open Bate up to a wider audience, it is his work on the indie circuit which has reaped the benefits of the WWE shows. Along with his fellow British Strong Style stable mates, Bate has taken the moment from those Blackpool shows and put that into helping him develop his character, in particular playing a Heel as part of the faction.
He added: “I am quite new to doing the Heel work and it is something I am really enjoying as it is something new to sink my teeth into and try out.
“I’ve never really tested my potential as a Heel character until these last few months, but I wouldn’t say that I prefer one over the other. I think most fans understand that the world of the WWE is different to something like the world of PROGRESS so they are just happy to accept it and play along.”
Despite his young age, Bate has been plying his trade in the ring since the age of 14, and has already faced off against some of the worlds top wrestlers in various promotions, but admitted he would love to have AJ Styles one-on-one.
At surface value, Bate is quite the physical specimen, and it was his incredible strength, which caught the eyes of many a wrestling fan back in January. But having trained as a gymnast from the age of 8, the resident of Moustache Mountain has a few tricks up his sleeve for any unsuspecting opponent foolish enough to step into the ring with him.
“I do like to pride myself on being a diverse and adaptable performer,” Bate continues, “and with doing gymnastics and a very young age I have always been able to move my body around really well and do flips and things.
“So it is nice to be able to have that ace if I ever need to bust something out. But it is all about perception really, as perception is reality, so it will make whenever I bust out that shooting star press, if I do, that bit more special. If I was doing them all over the place it wouldn’t make it as significant.”
The challenge now for the current WWE UK Champion, and his fellow UK competitors is to make a name for himself within the WWE universe.
With a number of title defences on NXT shows against the likes of Trent Seven and Jack Gallagher, Bate says he is determined to let his wrestling do the talking and the fans will see what a talent he is.
He added: “I think it would be really cool if people take the time to learn about people like myself, Pete and Trent and see what we’ve been doing before we got to WWE and during the times we aren’t there.
“The matches I have been part of might start a bit quiet audience wise, because they are still getting to know us, but I want to let my wrestling do the talking and that seems to be winning the crowds over.” .
WWE Network will stream the WWE United Kingdom Championship Special this Friday, May 19, at 3 p.m. ET, with a re-airing in primetime at 8 p.m. ET.