Meet your first ever Heritage Cup champion (Photo: WWE)
WWE crowned its first ever Spanish champion on Thursday night as NXT UK star A-Kid won the Heritage Cup.
The 24-year-old grappler – who was born in Madrid – made history as he became the inaugural winner of the new trophy by defeating British wrestling veteran Trent Seven using his exciting, MMA-inspired style.
Speaking exclusively to Metro.co.uk the morning after his big win, he said: ‘He was one of my biggest opponents with I signed with NXT – he was the one I wanted to wrestle, probably the most, on the whole roster.
‘Being with him in that final obviously helped a lot. I think we both enjoyed that match a lot, and when both wrestlers do that it’s really easy to just lay into fans and let them enjoy what you’re doing.
‘I’m really happy with everything and how it came out.’
With his big moment coming in an empty BT Sport Studio, the rising star took inspiration from Charlotte Flair and Rhea Ripley’s WrestleMania 36 clash to make things work in a unique environment.
Even ignoring the lack of a live crowd, A-Kid was also in unfamiliar territory with the Heritage Cup rules, which borrow a lot from British wrestling’s World of Sport legacy with matches fought across six three-minute rounds.
‘It is such a unique style, and I think it also translates well into the modern era,’ he explained.
A-Kid and Trent didn’t have the roar of the crowd to push them (Photo: WWE)
‘The fact you can watch three minutes of wrestling, then go back to your phone and chat with your friends – “How cool was that?” – and then watch three minutes more. I think it’s so good for the moment we’re living in!’
The format also suited A-Kid’s MMA hybrid in-ring style, which could set up a dream match with NXT superstar Kyle O’Reilly.
‘I’ve been studying him so much,’ he smiled. ‘I’ve been watching his work since he was in the independents and all through NXT. I would love to have that match.’
Growing up, A-Kid was instantly enamoured with the world of wrestling after seeing Rey Mysterio, and he couldn’t believe what he could do between the ropes.
He thought the legendary masked luchador as a ‘superhero’ (Photo: WWE)
He laughed: ‘I thought he was a superhero movie, and I loved it. My mother told, “No, no, it’s not a movie. It’s almost real life, you can go watch this live!”
‘I went, “What are you talking about?! Is this real?” Then I watched people like Bret Hart and I was fascinated by the work.’
After honing his craft across Europe, A-Kid is now hoping his big win can be a catapult for both his own career and the NXT UK brand as a whole.
‘I’d love to transcend European wrestling and defend it on American soil,’ he said.
A-Kid thinks the Heritage Cup can go global (Photo: WWE)
‘I think it has been very well received, this style, and I think we have a lot to offer. I think it’s something very unexplored in today’s era, so it’s a different way of telling stories.’
One day, A-Kid will get to soak up the adulation from a live crowd and really let his achievements sink in – and he’s ready for an emotional moment.
He beamed: ‘I was watching a theatre play the other day, it was three actors and they all cried right after the performance.
‘I think that’s how I’m gonna feel. It’s gonna be so good to be back with the fans, and let them enjoy what you’re doing. It’s just gonna be magic.’
*NXT UK airs every Thursday on the WWE Network, and Fridays on BT Sport.
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