RAW GM Baron Corbin was WWE Hall of Famer Booker T’s guest on the Heated Conversations podcast. Corbin opened up about his new RAW GM role, as well as his reactions to fan criticism. Highlights appear below.
On How It Feels To Be RAW GM:
It’s crazy because I kind of get to do double duty because I am in the ring still and I get to be the acting general manager. I was given a lot of responsibility. I think I was given an opportunity and I ran with it. I think I’ve made a lot more of it than anybody thought I was going to and that’s why it’s gone so well, but it’s opened a lot of doors and a lot of eyes to what I can do.
On Whether He Feels Any Nervousness Being RAW GM:
I was definitely nervous the first few times. It’s crazy, but I think they’re letting me have fun with it and do it my way and do it 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. That’s a Roman Reigns spot and I’m doing it. It’s a great opportunity and I love the challenge. I want to be able to do that every single week and fill it and people hate me for it and I love it. They despise that I’m on their TV six or seven times a night and that’s the best thing for me because then they’re following everything I’m doing. If they hate me that much, they’re following everything I do. If they hate me that much, then they’re following everything I do and it’s just awesome, but it’s very exciting in a nervous way. It’s intimidating, but that’s what I do. That’s why I am good at what I do. That’s why I’ve always been successful because I’m really good under pressure.
On Growing Up Watching Professional Wrestling:
Being in the position I am, I kind of expose a little more of my back story. I grew up watching wrestling. My dad was a huge wrestling fan in Kansas City ‘cause we have Harley Race. He would always run his shows there. My dad was a huge Kamala fan and we got to see [Ric] Flair when Flair was on the undercard ‘cause my dad was going to shows. I’ve got posters from before I was born like ‘81,’82, ‘83 from Memorial Hall in Kansas City. We grew up watching it, but I always gravitated toward the big guys like Bam Bam [Bigelow] and Bossman. I took that attitude to football practice, so wrestling got me into football and really good at football and football got me into wrestling, so it’s kind of a full circle thing.
On Transitioning From The NFL To Professional Wrestling:
It’s definitely a transition. I think, a couple things, definitely the physicality because I’m a physical person and sometimes we can get ahead of ourselves, but I’ve done a very good job at transitioning. I’ve had guys that have complimented, ‘Man, you’re amazing to work with because you’re not killing me.’ That kind of thing. I think the hardest thing for a pro athlete to transition is growing up playing football and fighting and stuff like that, you’re always told, ‘Don’t 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 built on emotion and getting people to feel what we’re feeling. You want the kids in the front row to the people in the nosebleeds to understand that you’re in pain, you’re hurting, you’re tired, you’re angry and I think that gets lost in a lot of guys that try to come over in professional sports, just finding that emotion. It took me awhile to find it; it’s hard.
On Feeling ‘Coldness’ From The WWE Locker Room Upon His Arrival:
I 100% [felt coldness]. I think that’s anything in any competitive business, whether it’s the UFC, the NFL, or WWE. It’s a competitive business. 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 just don’t like you and it’s because they’re afraid you’re gonna take their spot. Of course I poured salt in the wound. I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m gonna take it. I get paid more than you. I’m better than you.’
On Social Media:
You can’t [look at it] because it gives a bunch of idiots, in reality, an opinion they think is valid and they don’t know how to express it appropriately. The language, the insults, all of those things just makes the world seem so unhappy. If you read the Twitter feed, it just seems like everybody in the entire world is just beyond miserable, but I think now, unfortunately, it is a necessity. It is a form of exposure and advertisement. My Instagram, my Twitter is a form of advertisement for me and my business and what I do: my brand. It’s just crazy how negative it is to everything. I could have twenty people go, ‘Baron Corbin should wear a red shirt tonight on RAW,’ and if I wore a red shirt those same twenty people are like, ‘He looks terrible! It should have been blue!’ There’s no pleasing it and I think Twitter gives these people a place to say whatever they want because there’s no repercussions for their actions. If you took all these people that said these things to me and put them in front of me, their attitude changes.
On Criticisms He Receives Via Social Media & What He’d Say To His Critics:
Twitter needs to understand that just because they’re the loudest, they’re not the majority. It’s good that people do speak their minds a bit, but it’s my show and if you want to change it, come and try. That’s what I say. Come and get it, if you want it. I’m in charge….we’re always out there to put on the best show possible. I want tonight to be better than last week. I want it to be better than the week before. I want next week to be better than this week. If you’re not getting better, you’re getting worse.
(Transcription Credit: Michael McClead, WrestleZone)
Readers may listen to the Heated Coversations podcast in its entirety below:
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