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Damian Priest is living his dream as WWE World Heavyweight Champion

Damian Priest is living his dream as WWE World Heavyweight Champion

when Damian the priestHis first name is Luis Martinez and he grew up in Dorado, Puerto Rico. He began his career in… WWE He has often said that he wants to “live forever.”

The priest fulfilled this promise last Sunday at Wrestlemania 40where it became He is the first Puerto Rican to win the company's world championship since Pedro Morales of Culebra in 1971.

The 41-year-old Puerto Rican earned the “Money in the Bank” briefcase, which allows him to challenge one of the two WWE World Champions at any time, against one of the two World Champions. Drew McIntyre This was minutes before he was taken off Seth Rollins.

After his fight with Rollins, McIntyre was also beaten by CM Punk and Priest's music was immediately played at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, which held an audience of 72,755 people that night.

Priest ran down the ramp as fast as he could, hit McIntyre in the face with his briefcase and then left him lying on the canvas with his “South of Heaven” move. A week after the referee counted to three and declared him the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Priest still feels like he's living a dream.

Damian Priest applies the “South of Heaven” on Drew McIntyre to secure his win at WrestleMania 40. (WWE)

“It's like I'm living a dream.. I feel so proud and all the support I have received is incredible. “My mother told me that this thing has blown up on the island and that gives me tremendous joy because I'm trying to represent you, but you never know if people will like you, if I'm giving them pride, so I'm very happy to know that I'm doing it, it's working.”The priest said in a telephone interview with First hour.

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Besides putting his name in WWE history, Priest's win at WrestleMania 40 is a massive victory for Puerto Rican wrestling, which hasn't had its best moment in years. Priest opens the doors to this new generation of Puerto Ricans in this harsh discipline and is a living example that professional fighters of the highest level are still being born from a small island in the Caribbean Sea.

“This means that (Puerto Ricans) are now in the lead. For more than 50 years we have not had this opportunity. But, as a Latino in general, I am happy to have you as the representative that enables us to do everything together.”

“We will move forward with the next Latin player who can also be a champion. The possibility is there. I am the example that I was not supposed to be in this situation, but I succeeded anyway. If I can do it, other Latinos can too.he added.

Damian Priest lifts the WWE Heavyweight Championship after defeating Drew McIntyre at WrestleMania 40.
Damian Priest lifts the WWE Heavyweight Championship after defeating Drew McIntyre at WrestleMania 40. (WWE)

“I wasn't sure I was going to do the 'draining'”

However, Priest revealed that he found out there was a possibility of winning the WWE World Heavyweight Title at WrestleMania 40 two weeks before wrestling's biggest event. The Puerto Rican won “Money in the Bank” on July 1 in London, England, and had exactly one year to claim the purse. Since things in the world of wrestling can change at any time, they didn't guarantee that he would make the expected exchange until an hour before the card began.

Many things have changed. They told me one thing, but a week later they told me something else because someone got hurt or came back. Two weeks before WrestleMania 40, they told me: “This is the plan, but things can change.” “I wasn't sure I was going to get the money and become a champion until an hour ago.”Regard.

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“Then I said, 'This is really going to happen.'” “I was nervous, I was shaking, but at the same time I was excited,” he said between laughs.

Although the Puerto Rican was guaranteed a match with one of the two WWE World Champions at any time for a year, there were doubts as to whether Priest would succeed in reclaiming the briefcase. In recent years, some Money in the Bank winners have failed, and they have talents such as Roman times, Cody Rhodes, Seth Rollins, Drew McIntyre And C m BankMany saw the outlook for Puerto Ricans as complicated. In fact, the priest admitted that he had his doubts.

“I wasn't sure I was going to win the title until the last hour because the idea was always in my mind that I had won the briefcase and that I was going to fail. I thought it would be embarrassing for my career. Those doubts were there,” he admitted.

“Doomsday” changed his career

On the other hand, the world heavyweight champion had two moments that changed his career forever. The first was when he joined the group in 2022 “Doomsday” with edge And Rhea Ripley. The original idea was to unite two superstars who had the potential to hold the most prestigious titles in the company with multiple-time champion Edge. In fact, two years later, Ripley and Priest hold the heavyweight championships in their divisions as well Finn Balor, Dominik Mysterio And JD McDonagh They are part of the faction.

Damian Priest holds the WWE Heavyweight Championship with his teammates. "Doomsday".  From left to right: Dominik Mysterio, Rhea Ripley, Finn Balor and JD McDonagh.
Damian Priest holds the WWE Heavyweight Championship with his “Doomsday” buddies. From left to right: Dominik Mysterio, Rhea Ripley, Finn Balor and JD McDonagh. (WWE)

“It makes me happy to know that's why we did 'Doomsday' and it worked. If it weren't for Doomsday, I wouldn't be here.. I needed this support. We all need it. “Dominik has grown as a person and a fighter, Finn Balor is back on top, and Rhea Ripley is the most famous fighter in the world,” he said.

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However, Judgment Day wasn't the only key to Priest's success, as he proved last year that he could be one of WWE's premier talents when he stole the show alongside him. Bad bunny In a street fight at the Backlash event, which took place in front of a full house at the José Miguel Agrelot Coliseum in Puerto Rico.

“For me, that night I showed the world that this is my life, this is what I'm doing with it and I'm good at doing it. I'm glad I had this opportunity with Bad Bunny because it put me on another level with the company and the audience, but also what This was the battle for culture.”

“I needed that fight with Bad Bunny to get where I am today. He added: “Now the company trusts me because they believe: He can lead the company. Look how I carry this man in that battle.”

Damian Priest fought Bad Bunny last year in a street fight at the Backslah event, hosted by Puerto Rico Stadium.
Damian Priest fought Bad Bunny last year in a street fight at the Backslah event, hosted by Puerto Rico Stadium. (David Villafane/Staff)

At the time, Priest was fighting in front of his own people, but as a “heel” as wrestling villains are known, and he accepted that it was a difficult role to accept. for this reason, He has already begun knocking on the doors of WWE's upper management to bring an event to the island again, where he dreams of appearing in Puerto Rico as a champion with the heavyweight title around his waist..

“I've already started asking,” he commented. “I asked them: When are we going to Puerto Rico?” They told me: We have to find the dates. I told them to look for dates because we had to go back to Puerto Rico. “There is no specific date, but I am on top of it because I want to come back.”

“Last time I fought for Backlash and we achieved it. I think we can do it again,” he concluded.

This is how Damian Priest won the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
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