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Tye Dillinger calls his surprise Royal Rumble appearance ‘step one’

Tye Dillinger was one of the very few surprises WWE delivered on in the Royal Rumble match this year, fittingly entering at number 10. In a new interview with, he calls that “step one” in his journey to achieving his ultimate dream:

“My motivation level here in NXT has always been high. I believe it's one of my stronger attributes. Competing in the Royal Rumble capped off a chapter in my career that I feel was 15 years in the making. That one moment, on that night, taught me that if you work hard enough when no one is watching, believe in yourself when others don't, be good to people even if they don't deserve it, and have incredible patience, eventually, something will roll your way. I just didn't think that something would be competing at the 30th annual Royal Rumble event with the likes of The Undertaker, Brock Lesnar, Goldberg and Roman Reigns. [Laughs] I couldn't be happier that it was, though. The way I look at it now, that’s just step one. WWE gave me a taste of what it's like on the big stage and I want more. So now, I'll work even harder.”

There’s something inspirational about this, sure, but there’s also something profoundly sad about it. Dillinger views this now as a great moment in his career, and it is undoubtedly that, but it was immediately followed by his going right back down to NXT to continue his work there.

Rumors and reports circulated that the only reason he was given that 10 spot was to placate the fans in San Antonio, taking away their ability to rebel if he wasn’t given said spot (something we’ve seen from past Royal Rumble crowds who didn’t get what they wanted). It’s still an accomplishment, yes, and that he’s using it as further motivation to reach greater heights is wonderful, for sure, but it coming about the way it did diminishes it in some way.

Tell me if you feel differently.

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