Ahead of Sunday’s WWE Clash at the Castle pay-per-view, WWE star Austin Theory CBS Sports’ Shakiel Mahjouri to talk about why he is confident about wrestling John Cena at WrestleMania, Johnny Gargano’s return, Triple H, The Way in NXT, and several other topics.
Theory was asked what he thought when he heard the news that Vince McMahon was stepping down:
“So to me, the first thing you think of is like, ‘Well then who’s in charge?’ As soon as I found out who the team was, Stephanie, Triple H, Nick Khan, Bruce Prichard, I have a good relationship with all of them.”
“But I think the Mr. McMahon retirement got a lot of us because, you know, we’ve seen him forever. He laid the foundation. Literally, there’s all these Superstars because of Mr. McMahon. I think it was just kind of like, wow, like, that’s really happening. So that’s kind of where it got me there.”
“But as far as creative and the future, no worries about that just because of the talent and being with Triple H before, and knowing his strategies and his creative power, and his direction of how he looks at things. Not only having him, but we have Stephanie, we have Nick Khan, we have Bruce Prichard, and these are all eyes that are on the game in different ways. I think when it comes to that foundation Mr. McMahon has laid for us, okay, here’s these people to give us a bunch of creativity and here it is. I think it’s no better time than now, especially even just speaking on the talent that’s involved now that’s on the roster. We have a hell of a roster. So it’s very exciting to know what the future is and it’s going to be very competitive.”
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John Cena has been Theory’s inspiration for getting into wrestling. Theory was asked what a match against Cena at WrestleMania would mean to him:
“Man, it’s so weird to meet somebody and pretty much have to explain to them like, ‘I modeled my whole life after you.’ It’s like one of those things where like, as a kid getting bullied, my dad not been in my life a lot, Cena, I could watch him and just escape. It was the connection to his personality and that’s something I learned from him. He told me, ‘People go out there and you know, they want people to connect to their performance. Nobody’s going to connect to your performance unless they connect to your personality.’”
“I started thinking, even with that process through NXT, to finally being drafted to RAW officially, was a time to figure stuff out and really how can I connect with them though with my personality? This is a world in WWE where everybody can kill it in the ring. Everybody can go hard in the ring. So what’s going to set you aside from just killing it in the ring? That was just one of those things where I learned that from him. But to have that moment with him who is the person that pretty much, I had to put in my own work, but somebody that got me to the dance just mentally just kind of takes the words out of my mouth to think about that actually happening.”
Click below for the full interview.
If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit SHAK Wrestling (Shakiel Mahjouri) with a h/t to WrestlingNews.co for the transcription.