Recently, acting Raw General Manager Baron Corbin was interviewed by WWE Hall Of Famer Booker T on his podcast, “Heated Conversations.” Corbin talked about transitioning from professional sports to wrestling, feeling heat in the WWE locker room, and portraying a villainous authority figure on WWE TV. Here are the highlights:
Transitioning from professional sports to wrestling: “It’s definitely a transition. I think it’s the physicality because I’m a physical person and I think sometimes we can get ahead of ourselves, but I think I’ve done a very good job of transitioning because I’ve had guys that have complimented me, ‘you’re good to work with because you’re not killing me’ type of thing.
“I think the hardest thing for a pro athlete trying to transition, growing up playing football and fighting and stuff like that, you’re always told, ‘hey, don’t show your emotion, never show emotion, don’t show you’re hurt, don’t show you’re tired, don’t show any of that to your opponent’ and now our entire industry is emotion and getting people to feel what we’re feeling.
“I think that gets lost on a lot of guys that try to come over from professional sports, is finding that emotion. It took me a while and it’s hard.”
Feeling heat in the WWE locker room when he first arrived: “100%, but I think that’s anything in any competitive business whether it’s UFC, the NFL, or WWE. It’s a competitive business and everybody wants to be the best. And when there’s a new guy coming in and there’s buzz about him, ‘oh, he was a pro football player,’ you instantly have people that don’t like you because they’re afraid you’re going to take their spot.
“Of course, I poured salt on the wound saying, ‘yeah, I’m going to take it – I get paid more than you and I’m better than you.'”
Portraying a villainous authority figure on WWE TV: “They’re letting me have fun with it. They’re letting me do it my way as me and Vince [McMahon] loves it. For the last four weeks I’ve been the first 15 minutes of Monday Night RAW, which is crazy. That’s a John Cena spot and that’s a Roman Reigns spot and I’m doing it.
“And it’s a great opportunity and I love the challenge. I love being able to do that every single week and fill it. And right now, people have me for it and I love it!” Corbin explained, “like, they despise that I’m on their TV six or seven times a night.”
H/T Wrestling Inc. for the transcriptions