There is never a good time for injury when you are a WWE superstar, but Neville’s recent setback was especially frustrating for hm.
“The Man Gravity Forgot” was set to be a part of WrestleMania 32 before fracturing his ankle in a match on Raw against Chris Jericho. This put him out of the company’s biggest show of the year. Considering how much worse the prognosis could be, Neville looks at the bright side.
“It’s going to be about three months,” he said. “I broke my ankle in two places, but fortunately it was a clean break. The bone remained in position. So there is no requirement for surgery.”
The English high-flyer wasn’t able to contribute to the grand spectacular in the ring. However, Neville made it a point to be a part of the festivities surrounding WrestleMania.
“Obviously, it’s very difficult,” he said.
“I think it would be worse staying at home and being miserable by myself. I would have hated to have missed out because WrestleMania is not only about the event. It’s about the week surrounding the event. It’s about Axxess. It’s about fan interaction. It’s about giving back to the WWE Universe that gives to us 365 days a year. So I felt that was important and a responsibility. It’s not only a responsibility, but something I genuinely enjoy doing.”
The exciting performer is known for his aerial and acrobatic style. Past injuries haven’t changed the approach of his offense. In other words, we haven’t seen our last Red Arrow.
“I think it will take more than a broken ankle to change me,” he said.
“I’m an adrenaline junkie, and that is always going to be my style. I broke my ankle doing a baseball slide, which is a relatively simple maneuver. It’s certainly not high risk. But what the injury did do was open my eyes to how easily an injury can happen. I’ve been fortunate in my career not to have many injuries — especially ones that have kept me out for long periods. So this was certainly an eye opener how easily this could happen and how careful I must be.”
The former NXT champion is ecstatic to witness many cohorts from his pre-WWE days sharing a locker room with him once more. The team player also couldn’t be happier for those who have gotten the recent call-up from the developmental brand.
“These guys I’ve known for so long and have been part of my journey,” Neville said. “So to see them here and doing their thing in NXT, it’s awesome. I’m such a fan of the NXT brand. I came from NXT, but it’s such a good product. The wrestling is so good. It’s hard to deviate away from NXT.
“…It’s a very different animal than the main roster. It’s a different territory just like college to the NFL. There are definitely changes, but I think one thing NXT teaches you is to be adaptable and to roll with the punches. That’s something you need to do on the main roster.”
The injury is a bump in the road for Neville. However, it can’t take away from the stellar year Neville has had since arriving on Raw a year ago. This included a long-standing rivalry with Stardust, which had some comic book inspiration.
The feud reached another level when the Green Arrow himself, Stephen Amell, provided superhero backup. Neville and the actor went on to defeat King Barrett and Stardust at SummerSlam. Amell’s standout showing, complete with a dive off the top rope to the floor, won him a Slammy Award for “Celebrity Moment of the Year.”
“It was cool,” Neville said. “Amell is a very cool guy, and I feel we made a really good tag team. If the opportunity to work with him again arises, I would love to do something with him. He was impressive.”
The driven performer is working hard for a successful return to action. Neville is using his time away to think about what he wants to do moving forward.
“There so many guys I watch on the sidelines who I want to work with,” he said.
“There are guys I would love to meet again. Sami Zayn is a guy we’ve had a friendly competition going on for 10 to 12 years. So that’s someone I would like to revisit and someone who brings out the best in me. The same goes for Finn Balor and Kevin Owens.
“I also have some aspirations with other guys I would like to mix it up with. I would like to mix it up again with Seth Rollins, who is obviously hurt right now. But he is someone I would love to mix it up with when I got back. There is a long list of potential fresh match-ups and fresh directions upon coming back from this injury.”
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