WWE United States Champion Andrade and his fiancee, Charlotte Flair, recently appeared on Seconds Out to talk about their relationship and what it’s like to be a WWE Superstar. As seen in the video above, Andrade says that adapting his in-ring style to what the company expects wasn’t necessarily difficult for him because he had competed all over the world prior to arriving at the performance center in Orlando.
“Wasn’t so much of a change because I’ve had many matches… The generally big places in the world, the big countries for pro wrestling or lucha libre are Mexico, USA, Japan, and UK. And now WWE is in all countries and it’s different,” Andrade explained. “Now WWE has all talents and opportunities for all the stars in the indies to come in like Finn Balor, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, Ricochet, many talents of the world.”
Andrade believes that the demanding schedule was the hardest thing to become accustomed to. He’s a man that likes his personal time, but WWE puts their developing stars on a weekly schedule to prepare them for the demands of traveling with the company.
“The hardest thing for me was probably the different roles in the Performance Center because when you go to the Performance Center and become a WWE Superstar, you’re on a different schedule,” Andrade said. “But in the indies or in Mexico, you have your time. I moved to USA and the Performance Center in Orlando, and I had a schedule – you need to go the gym, you need promo, you need all this schedule. I don’t like schedules.”
Andrade thought back to how stressful some of his classes at the Performance Center could be because he was almost a decade ahead in experience while they were learning the basics. He’s glad to have went through the highs and lows of working at the performance center because it led him to the success he’s seeing on the road with WWE.
“I had wrestling class with Norman Smiley, you know Norman Smiley? He worked in Mexico with the name Black Magic and he worked in WCW. When you would workout with the guys who have never wrestled in their life? I’ve been wrestling for nine years in this moment and some of these guys don’t know a wrist lock, or waist lock, or head lock,” Andrade said. “I stay in the corner and say, ‘Ugh! Three hours?’ Because the class is three hours.
“I have to stay in the ring because I’m learning headlocks, or a spot, or a little wrestling. And I’ll say, ‘Okay, Norman Smiley, next.’ People are standing in the ring while he says, ‘A headlock is this, a headlock is this, a headlock is this.’ Norman Smiley keeps saying wait, wait, and he understands because he speaks Spanish and says, ‘Hey, tranquilo, tranquilo, tranquilo, relax, wait, wait.’ After that, you stay in promo class and between promo class with the English and Spanish,” Andrade continued. “Sometimes when I have my English class, I don’t get home until like 5 or 6 PM when I start my day at 8 AM. I think, ‘Oh, I’m so tired.’ From Monday to Thursday or Friday for one year? Whew, I’m so tired. It was a hard time for me but for now, I’m here. I have a beautiful lady that’s a superstar, my belt, and a good life.”
Charlotte took some time to praise Andrade for how far his ability to speak English has come since he first started out with NXT in Orlando. She thinks that if she was in the same position he is currently in, it would be challenging to speak Spanish in interviews without getting assistance.
“Just because I’m a proud fiancee – so watching him for the last year and a half, it’s one thing to talk to somebody in private in a different language, like, how we interact. But I couldn’t be impressed that he went from no English really, to Zelina taking on the full role, to now he’s doing interviews with me,” Charlotte said. “Like, I couldn’t imagine having to speak Spanish to someone right now without not talking to him. So his confidence of speaking English in bigger environments, I think, is probably the biggest transition. And probably the next thing that will take him to that next level in the WWE, because obviously we know of his talent.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Seconds Out with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.