Former NXT North American Champion Damian Priest is going to be called up to WWE imminently even after a last minute SmackDown debut last week was nixed.
On Wednesday's Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer reported that a decision was made last Thursday that Priest was to debut on the blue brand last Friday as Kevin Owens' best friend. He and Owens were then going to face WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns and Jey Uso on the show.
Owens, while willing to go through with the angle, didn't think that made sense as the two don't have anything in common that would back that up. Reigns agreed and the plan was scrapped even though Priest was there and ready.
As of Wednesday morning, Meltzer said the 38-year-old was expected to be part of Raw as early as late-January, but that obviously could change. Meltzer said that NXT talent isn't supposed to be called up without several months of planning, but this flew in the face of that.
The former Punishment Martinez signed a WWE deal in October 2018. He eventually made his way to NXT TV under his new name in the summer of 2019. He won the North American title at last August's TakeOver XXX before losing the title to Johnny Gargano after two months. Priest was defeated by Karrion Kross in a grudge match Wednesday.