In an exclusive interview with Daily DDT, Cameron Grimes dishes on his Haunted House of Terror match with Dexter Lumis at Halloween Havoc, his rise in WWE NXT, wanting to wrestle on the moon, and more.
For the first time in 20 years, Halloween Havoc is back tonight, this time under the WWE umbrella on NXT on USA Network.
The loaded four-match card, promises to deliver many thrills and chills featuring the stars of the black-and-gold brand. In addition to two titles being up for grabs, Rhea Ripley finally fighting Raquel Gonzalez, Cameron Grimes and Dexter Lumis will settle their score in WWE NXT’s first-ever Haunted House of Terror match.
The matchup was made official last week on the show, and upon finding out the news from NXT backstage interviewer McKenzie Mitchell, Grimes showed signs of trepidation. However, he’ll tell you himself he isn’t afraid of Lumis or whatever this Haunted House of Terror spectacle is going to be.
“You’re asking me how I’m feeling going into a Haunted House of Terror match. How am I supposed to be feeling? Some people are saying I might be scared, but I ain’t scared,” Grimes said with a hint of fear in his voice during a phone interview with Daily DDT on Tuesday. “I mean, Dexter Lumis is an imposing figure. He comes off intimidating, but let me be the first to tell you: I’m not scared, I’m not scared at all.”
To be fair, Grimes has proven in the past that he’s able to overcome the odds and win even when the deck is stacked against him. After all, he holds victories over the likes of Kushida, Damian Priest, and Finn Balor in singles competition, and the latter two are currently champions in NXT.
In other words, he isn’t as much of an underdog heading into Halloween Havoc as many may think. He’s gotten the best of Lumis multiple times this last month and Wednesday will be no different, at least according to Grimes.
“I’ve beaten Finn Balor. You know what he is? He’s the NXT champion. I beat Damian Priest. You know what he is? He’s the North American champion. I beat ’em all. Now that you mention it, what do I have to worry [about]? Unfortunately, none of those matches were inside Haunted House of Terror and I honestly don’t know what that does entail,” he said, “But honestly, if we make this a regular match, no doubt I’m gonna stomp him right in the ground. You know what it is! Cave In!”
As far as what this bout is going to consist of exactly, Grimes doesn’t have the slightest clue. All he knows is that despite being a world-traveled, down-and-dirty competitor, this won’t be in his wheelhouse and that he’ll need to do whatever it takes to escape intact.
“I wish I had a better answer for you, but I have no idea what this is going to entail,” Grimes said. “A Haunted House of Terror match? Where in the world can I prepare for this? Let me tell you, I’ve wrestled all around the world. I’ve wrestled in every country you can possibly wrestle at the young age of 27, but I haven’t ever, ever done a Haunted House of Terror match. Honestly, I don’t know what’s going to happen.
“Cameron Grimes isn’t a fan of horror, let me tell you, so I try to stay away from all scary movies,” he continued. “If I get locked in a house, I’m going to try and get out. That’s the only scary movie I can reference in that type of way. I’m not a fan of horror and I don’t watch scary movies because I’m scared I might get scared.”
From Hulk Hogan vs. Ric Flair to Rey Mysterio vs. Eddie Guerrero, Halloween Havoc hosted countless classics during its original run from 1989 to 2000. Grimes vs. Lumis might soon be added to that illustrious list depending on how things go on Wednesday night.
Grimes has been wrestling for over a decade yet is only 27-years-old. He originally cut his teeth in PWG before later joining IMPACT Wrestling in 2015, where he won the X-Division Championship three times and the Impact World Tag Team Championship once with Brian Myers.
The Hardy Boyz were instrumental in the career of Cameron Grimes early on, though he hopes a day will come that they’ll cross paths again, but as opponents, and he’ll get to beat his mentors.
“Being from North Carolina and being trained by The Hardy Boyz, I always looked up to them my whole entire life,” he said. “I always looked up to those daredevils. Now, here, in this past year, I can’t look up to nobody because I’m looking down at ’em as I cave ’em in.”
After signing with WWE at the onset of 2019, Grimes was introduced to the NXT Universe as part of the Breakout Tournament that summer and made it to the finals before ultimately losing to Jordan Myles.
Fans were apathetic toward him early on in his run because, outside of his above-average abilities in the ring, there was nothing about him that stood out as special, at least from a character standpoint. That changed once he started to speak more and say his name in unforgettable fashion while cutting promos, in addition to developing the “Straight to the moon!” catchphrase.
“With Cameron Grimes, you got to put the emphasis on that because that’s the type of player I am in NXT,” he said. “When you see me, you want to scream my name because you ain’t ever seen another man like me! Cameron Grimes! (Laughs)
“As for ‘to the moon,’ that’s where I’m going,” Grimes continued. “Ever since I came into NXT in the Breakout Tournament, I’ve been building that rocket ship, every little screw. I’ve been screwing it in and don’t forget I need that rocket fuel. And I’ve been getting that rocket fuel over this past year. You said all the people that I beat. What else do I got to do? What else do I got to do than get strapped in that seat and go to the moon! (Laughs)”
NXT talent have the incredible opportunity to learn from some of the very best in the business at the Performance Center. Grimes believes he’s benefited from having their knowledge and experience available to cherry-pick from when needed but that he’s reached a point where the roles have been reversed.
“Let me completely honest with you. The PC, the system that WWE has cannot be beat,” Grimes said. “The coaches WWE has cannot be outmatched. Let me tell you, when you’re a young stud coming in like Cameron Grimes with all the potential in the world and all the pieces just right, all those coaches throw themselves at you. Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Road Dogg, Norman Smiley, Terry Taylor, they all want to talk to Cameron Grimes because look at me.
“When I’m in that ring,” he said, “I pull off things you have never seen before, ever. My finish is the most dominant finish in the WWE Universe right now with the RKO being number two. I can cave you in at any moment. I can do anything at any time. The coaches want to be the ones that say, ‘I helped Cameron Grimes,’ when actually, I already knew everything they were telling me anyway. (Laughs)”
One of the biggest criticisms of the Cameron Grimes character soon after he debuted in NXT was that, unlike the rest of the roster, he wasn’t relatable enough. Fans couldn’t connect with him for that reason, but Grimes couldn’t have cared less and made a name for himself, anyway.
He believes his seemingly unwashed appearance is irrelevant compared to what he can do inside the squared circle.
“As time goes, you can understand more, I guess. It is hard to understand me,” Grimes said. “Look at me! I’m an enigma! There is no one like me, so how you can look at me and go, ‘I can relate with that guy’? You can’t relate with me. Like I said, I’m 27-years-old. I’ve wrestled in seven different countries. I’ve traveled the world at 27-years-old. I’m in the greatest company in the world for professional sports-entertainment. WWE, baby!
“Maybe it is a little hard to understand who Cameron Grimes is because you’ve never worked that hard,” he continued. “Maybe you’ve never seen a man that looks like he could be out on the street, smelly, but is actually working harder than you because that’s why I’m smelly. I stink and maybe my hair isn’t trimmed up real nice because I don’t go to the barber shop to get Instagram likes. I’m here to get championships. That’s why Cameron Grimes has got that rocket built and I’ll I’m waiting on is my seat belt and some NXT gold to take me to the moon.”
Grimes has had a handful of excellent matches in his rookie year on NXT with Kushida, Dominik Dijakovic, Keith Lee, and others, but he has yet to hold gold of any kind. Beyond his Haunted House of Terror match with Lumis, he has his sights set on capturing championship gold sooner rather than later.
With wins over Balor and Priest, who are the reigning NXT and North American champions respectively, Grimes has a legitimate claim to the next shot at each title. First, he has to wait and see what the status of Balor’s injured jaw is as well as whether Priest will leave Halloween Havoc the new North American champion.
“When I beat Dexter Lumis at Halloween Havoc [in] Haunted House of Terror, whatever that may be, and stomp him for the third time in, what, four weeks now? Is it three Cave Ins in four weeks? Maybe if my math is correct. Maybe it’s five weeks, but either way, it will be three Cave Ins that man has eaten and once he’s done and out of the picture, Finn Balor hurt his little jaw. I mean, do I have to wait for him? Do I have to fight him again? I beat him when he was 100 percent, so does he want to fight me when he’s at 75 percent?
“I’m not quite sure, but Damian Priest, if he can get past Johnny [Gargano], I can beat Damian again,” he said. “I haven’t beaten Johnny yet, and what is he, the NXT icon? If he wins, it’d be nothing to go ahead and squish him out. Come on, I’m ready for anything. I’m looking past Dexter Lumis even though I know he’s looking at me.”
If and when Grimes becomes a champion in NXT, it has to be done in style. Triple H went on record recently on WWE’s The Bump in saying that the only way the picture of Priest celebrating his North American title win in the hot tub outside will be topped is if Grimes brought his belt straight to the moon and snapped a finger-pointing photo with The Game there.
To Grimes, it’s no joking matter, mentioning that water was discovered on the moon not too long ago and thus a TakeOver taking place outside of the planet earth isn’t completely out of the question. Needless to say, it’d be the perfect place for Grimes to get his first taste of gold in WWE.
“I don’t know if you’ve seen the news the last couple of weeks, but there’s water on the moon, and if there’s water on the moon, then we can do a show on the moon,” he said. “What better time would it be for me to win all the gold in the first show on the moon? That is to be determined and I don’t even know the exact date on that show, but I don’t even know what the name of that show may be, but look out because it may be coming.”
Don’t miss Cameron Grimes battle Dexter Lumis inside the Haunted House of Terror this Wednesday on the Halloween Havoc edition of WWE NXT at 8/7c, only on USA Network.