WWE NXT UK star Blair Davenport, formerly Bea Priestley, has spoken about her decision to sign with the company and her name change.
Davenport made her in-ring debut on this past Thursday’s episode of NXT UK and picked up a win over Laura Di Matteo.
Speaking with talkSPORT about her decision to sign with WWE, Davenport said:
“It was the right opportunity and the right timing for me. There were so many other things that I wanted to do first and I didn’t want to be in the position where I would make such big jump in my career and wish I could’ve done things before coming here. I wanted to do everything that I wanted to do, then come to this part in my life. During the pandemic, there was a small window. Obviously, I got cut from AEW because my visa expired and there was no hope for a new visa happening at that time.
“There was a tiny window in August where people who had Japan visas could go back, so I went back to Japan. I loved STARDOM so much, but this time I think I was the only foreigner there, where before, I had a group of friends with me. I love the roster, but I did feel very isolated and I started to feel stagnant with my role and feeling like there was only so much more I could do with this company before I stay in my same position. I hate being stagnant and I wanted to be like, ‘I need to do something for me now’. This is when we got in touch with WWE and we were chatting. I almost wanted a bit of time at home as well to have a bit of a rest, but I love NXT UK so much and it’s definitely where I want to be right now.
“NXT UK reached out to me when they were first making the roster in 2018 but it was the day after I signed my World of Sport contract. They reached out again the beginning of 2019 and I spoke to Canyon Ceman. I was going to sign, but I wanted to do more in Japan and I said that to Canyon. He said, ‘Okay, cool, we’ll keep in touch and call you back in six months’. Literally, two days later, AEW got in contact with me and offered me the schedule where I could live in Japan but still work for them and have best of both worlds. At that point, it was great for me.
“This time around, I reached out to Jim Smallman, who I know from PROGRESS, and he put in connection and I had a call with Canyon again. We got the wheels moving this time. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to go at those points, it was just the timing and my situation that fit the best.”
Discussing her name change from Bea Priestley (a shortened version of her real name Beatrice Priestley) to Blair Davenport, she said:
“I was offered a bunch of first and last names. It wasn’t my first choice, but it was put to me like, ‘Can you make it work?’ I’m quite confident like, ‘I can make anything work, we’ll work it’. It’s like a fresh start. Bea Priestley is awesome but even from my last match in Japan in April, I am not that version of me anymore. I’ve progressed from that point and this is the new element of me. It’s a new way to recreate yourself and feel refreshed. It’s not a clean slate because I don’t want to forget everything I’ve done, but this is the next level now.”
Quotes via Fightful