Blair Davenport discusses joining NXT UK, being released from AEW

Originally published at Blair Davenport discusses joining NXT UK, being released from AEW

Last week’s episode of NXT UK featured the in-ring debut of Blair Davenport, the former Bea Priestley. She picked up a win over Laura Di Matteo.

In late June, a vignette aired on NXT UK to promote the arrival of a new signing and that signing was revealed to be Davenport. She chatted with talkSPORT (transcribed by Jeremy Lambert) for an exclusive interview to discuss what led to her joining WWE and within that discussion, she talked about being cut from All Elite Wrestling in 2020.

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 a 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, whereas 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 stayed 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.

On the topic of transitioning from Bea Priestley to Blair Davenport, she shared that she was offered a handful of new first and last names. “Blair Davenport” was not her first choice but she felt she could make it work.

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.

Davenport is now a part of a women’s division that includes NXT UK Women’s Champion Meiko Satomura, Kay Lee Ray, Xia Brookside, Jinny and Isla Dawn among other talents.