You seem to be letting your evil side out a little bit, both in front of the camera and in the ring this year. How does it feel to play a different type of character?
Yeah, I think in the ring, it's certainly, you see a lot of real frustration coming out, right? And I think that's what's resonating with people so much is that it's real, you know? It's that feeling of being overlooked, and of wanting to be more, and not holding anything back anymore, not trying to be liked, and going after what you truly want. With the Maddy Hayes character, it's going after what she feels is important. …I really, I loved playing that role, especially at the time. It was so different from what I was doing on TV, that it was a nice flip, to be able to go and play something completely different.
You say that you are "The Man" and you definitely are "The Man" of Smackdown! Live, and of WWE. How can fans of yours, and non-fans of yours, have, get that confidence?
That confidence? You know, the thing of it is, it's always an inside job, right? It doesn't come overnight. This is something that I've been working on for a long time, and why this works so well is because we've seen me not have confidence. We've seen me persevere. We've seen every obstacle being thrown my way and finding a way to deal with it. But, it's all about believing in yourself, and I always say, you know, you're the only person that lives in your head. So, you can walk around telling yourself how great you are all day, walk around telling yourself how bad you are all day, like, it seems a lot better to live in a place where you're saying you're great, you know? So, I think you just gotta constantly work on believing in yourself, and believing that you're enough. Have faith that you've got everything that it takes to make it. If you put the work in? Of course, you do.
With the great work that you're doing, you're proving other people correct — a lot of people, including Dusty Rhodes, whose last tweet was about you. How does that feel, knowing that so many people have the love for you and that you're actually now proving what they believe about you?
That means the world to me. You know, I feel like I've been really lucky with my support system, with those people that have believed in me. I think it's one thing that's motivating is when people don't believe in you and you prove them wrong. When you have people that care about you and they want to succeed, I don't know, that drives me a whole lot more, because I don't want them to ever feel stupid for believing in me. I want to prove them right, and I want to make them proud. You know, and I feel that way with the fans, a lot. They've believed in me the whole time, and I just want to make them proud.
Source: Hollywood Life