Baron Corbin couldn't have asked for a better debut on the main roster as his came at WrestleMania 32. He entered into the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royale and won the whole thing in front of over 100,000 people.
But Corbin said that was exactly what he had prepared for his entire life thanks to his previous career as an NFL player. He talked about being ready for that moment when he joined the Not Sam Wrestling Podcast.
"I think a couple of things helped me; No. 1 being in stadiums, being around that large crowd [from playing in the NFL] and being around that pressure when your job depends on it. When you are in the NFL your job depends on how good you play," said Corbin. "If you are not playing good enough you go home. You no longer have a paycheck, so I think that helps me get ready. It teaches me to deal with the pressure of those things.
"I also look at it from where I want to go not where I am at. I train and I try to develop myself to where I want to be so that I am ready when I want to get there so getting to that WrestleMania match it was what I had already trained for so I was ready. The nervousness was there in a good way not in a bad way. I think debuting like that, I fit the WWE roster mold much better than the NXT mold. It's a different style. It's cool because it was the underground, cool, heavy metal band. I was so different than anybody else. I was a bit more old school in the aspect of I'm not doing moonsaults, even though I could do them. I dove for 10 years. I can do a moonsault off the top rope if I need to but I don't."
Corbin had the initial main roster push that many in NXT dream of when they get the call-up. A common complaint from both Superstars and fans alike is that former NXT wrestlers get misused when they make the main roster but Corbin believes it's on the talent themselves to make the most of their opportunities.
"What's crazy is when people say, 'I don't want these guys to get called up so that they can be misused.' Nobody is being misused. They're going to be given opportunities; they're either going to make them successful or not, that is just the way it is. There is a reason why NXT and Triple H has built an amazing thing down there because it gets guys ready to come down here [to the main roster]," stated Corbin.
"He's getting guys ready to come to the main roster and sometimes people get called up they may not be absolutely ready or whatever the situation didn't fit the way that they originally thought it would be, but it's just going to take time to rebuild or figure it out, which is on the guys. When they get called up it is up to the guys to find success. John Cena is somebody who has always preached that. It's on you, it's not on anyone else. If guys are being misused it's not anybody's fault but their own. They have to find an avenue to get successful, to get creative, to pitch ideas, and it's hard because you do get lost in the shuffle here. There are a lot of guys that I think do great things when given the opportunity but it's all about fighting and finding that opportunity."
Along those lines, Corbin is also not a fan of people who blame WWE for their own failures.
"That's a sad story for a lot of people nowadays. If something doesn't work it's always someone else's fault or nobody wanted them to do it. It's just one of those things, it's like if you really wanted to get something and really go, people are going to appreciate it even if it takes longer than expected. I had hoped to be world champion by now; it's taken me three-and-a-half years. It'll come, it's just going to take that grind," said Corbin. "Some guys have been doing it for six months and are like well, it's not going to work out for me because I'm not champion. It's a grind. Anything worth doing is a grind so it's that kind of thing where you can't feel sorry for yourself and you have to keep pushing."
As for those who are upset when they don't receive a push they think they deserve, Corbin said crying about it isn't going to change anything and they need to continue on their grind.
"I think it crosses everyone's mind, but I think it's a good thing because it means that you care about what you're doing but the thing is you just can't dwell off of it. You can't blame someone else for that. If someone else gets an opportunity that you want, hey, good for them. However they got it, they got it. Whether I cry because they got it because they didn't deserve it or they didn't earn it doesn't concern me. I have to figure out my next route to get to where I want to go," stated Corbin.
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Not Sam Wrestling Podcast with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.