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Where is Damian Priest from?

Published 11/26/2021, 1:45 PM EST

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Some of the potential superstars that WWE has brought in have made a big impression. Many superstars from the NXT brand have proven themselves capable of lighting up the promotion. Damian Priest is one such outstanding wrestler who’s taking the professional wrestling world by storm.

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Born in New York in 1982, the Priest is of Puerto Rican descent. His parents are Nuyorican, which refers to members of Puerto Rican diaspora who live in and around New York. Damien himself grew up in Puerto Rico.


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His father taught him martial arts from whom he learned Japanese Gōjū-ryū karate. He also encouraged Damien to pursue his dream in wrestling. Before embracing a career in professional wrestling, he won two championships in the full mixed martial arts.

To learn his craft, he entered the New Jersey-based Monster Factory wrestling school to kick start his wrestling journey. He competed in independent circuits until his entry in the Ring of Honor.

Damian Priest’s WWE Journey

Damian Priest’s wrestling journey started with local wrestling federation shows until he got a big chance in Ring of Honor (ROH) in 2015. Although his wrestling journey didn’t kick off with an enormous boom, he gained some attention from the fans.

Soon after, in 2018, Priest signed with WWE under his ring name Punishment Martinez, however, he lost his first match against Riddle. Priest’s start in the NXT brand didn’t go well. Later, he was introduced with a new ring name which is his current alias, Damian Priest. With the new ring name, Priest dominated the NXT roster, defeating some of the potential NXT Superstars like Raul Mendoza and Keith Lee.


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Later, his race for the NXT North American Championship began where he faced Oney Lorcan and Ridge Holland to qualify for a ladder match. The ladder match was set for the vacated NXT Championship. Winning that ladder match, Preist gained the first title of his WWE career.

He held the title for 67 days and in that duration, he defended it against Timothy Thatcher, Johnny Gargano, and Dexter Lumis. His last match at NXT was against Karrion Kross, which resulted in a loss.


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After this, Damian Priest made his first main roster appearance at Royal Rumble, eliminating 4 men, including Kane, Elias, The Miz, and John Morrison. The following night on Raw, he got introduced by Bad Bunny, leading to a feud with The Miz and Morrison. This continued till WrestleMania 37, where Preist and Bad Bunny defeated The Miz and Morrison. Damian Priest ended his feud with a victory over Miz at Backlash.

At SummerSlam 2021, Priest defeated the ‘Celtic Warrior’ Sheamus, ending his run as United States Champion. The boy from Puerto Rico who grew up watching World Wrestling Council is now one of the rising stars of the WWE.


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Written by:

Yash Sawant


One take at a time

Yash is a WWE and AEW writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Yash is a BSC student and along with his studies follows his favorite sport. Being a WWE fan since 2012, Yash loves all things related to wrestling.
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