NXT North American Champion Leon Ruff has achieved a lot in the last month. From winning the title from Johnny Gargano to getting engaged, he has a lot to smile about. However, he has also said that he wants to use his platform to inspire kids like Spider-Man.
While speaking to Metro UK, Ruff talked about growing up in Detroit. Specifically, he talked about not being able to dress as certain characters for Halloween because of how he looked. Here is the quote:
“When I grew up in Detroit, it was a lot of African Americans, a lot of black people. We rarely had white students. I didn’t grow up going to school with white people until I was in seventh grade. There was a lot of stuff that I didn’t know I could do or see or be. Like for Halloween, you can never really be a character because maybe your hair’s not right.”
Ruff then went into detail about watching 2018’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (the first Spider-Man movie with an African-American lead) and how he wants to inspire kids like he was inspired watching the movie:
“I remember the scene where Miles jumped off the building, that leap – that’s how I felt. I’m getting emotional. That’s how I felt when I left my job to come and do wrestling. I felt like I was jumping off the building, and it felt like I was falling but I was flying. ‘The way that made me feel watching that movie, I can only imagine how kids growing up who have all these outlets of diverse characters – I can only imagine what they’ll feel growing up. I’ve always wanted to inspire people, and I wanted to do it through wrestling. [But] I would definitely love to play Spider-Man!”
Leon Ruff is currently set to defend the North American Championship at NXT TakeOver WarGames. After saying he could face Johnny Gargano and Damian Priest at once, he will now face both in a Triple Threat match.