As a guest on the latest episode of WWE After the Bell, NXT North American Champion Bronson Reed spoke about taking inspiration from Bam Bam Bigelow as a wrestler. Reed just won the NXT North American Championship on a previous episode of NXT by defeating Johnny Gargano in a steel cage match to main event the show. The new champion spoke about how Bigelow was someone he viewed as similar to himself and loved his look.
“He’s sort of hard not to be drawn to really as a huge wrestling fan as a kid,” Reed said. “Seeing a huge larger than life man come out with flames tattooed on his head, how could you not be a fan of someone like that?”
Reed also spoke about his upbringing in the wrestling business as someone who came from Australia. WWE has currently three Australians holding championship belts, Rhea Ripley, Indi Hartwell and Bronson Reed, and Reed spoke about how he never thought he would ever have a chance to become a WWE superstar.
“When I started wrestling in 2007 in Australia, it wasn’t really attainable to get to WWE,” Reed said. “It didn’t seem like that because growing up there nobody on television for me to be like that’s the Australian guy, that’s the guy that’s doing it. When I started in the business as well, it didn’t seem like they were signing people from Australia at all, so I was just always intent on being the best professional wrestler I could be and trying to just travel as much around Australia.
“Then about four and a half years after wrestling in Australia, I had some friends that were actually wrestling in Japan and they were looking for more talent, they told me to send my stuff to Japan and I did, and I ended up getting a contract there and ended up wrestling and living there for about a year. That changed the way that I see wrestling and changed the way that I do what I do in the ring as well.
During his entrance, the Australian will come down to the ring and enter the middle of it and pose with his right hand in the shape of a claw. Reed spoke about the random person he discovered the hand gesture from and why it’s worked for him over the years.
“In the independents, I was like I need something that I do when I get to the ring, some sort of symbol,” Reed said. “What it was, I didn’t know and then I was watching a live performance of Lady Gaga. At the time, I used to go by the King of Monsters on the independents and she was singing along and all of a sudden she throws up this claw to all the people watching and I see a whole crowd of people throw up their hand [in a claw].
“I was like what’s that, and she goes ‘All my little monsters out there, I want you to throw up a claw.’ That’s what she called her fans and I go, I’m stealing that. Ever since, maybe for the past eight years I’ve done the claw symbol for people and everywhere I’ve gone it sort of took a little while to catch on but now in NXT you’ll see everyone in the crowd throwing it up.”
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit WWE After the Bell with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.