During a recent appearance on Control Your Narrative, Braun Strowman, now going by the name “Titan” in the ring, went in-depth about the struggles he faced while signed with WWE. Most notably, Strowman was getting overwhelmed by internet fans’ negativity.
“When I started hating myself and realizing I wasn’t happy [is when I knew I needed to leave WWE]. And a lot of it boils down to just what I mentioned earlier about having to be on all the time. And the criticism from the f**king fans, and it’s not even the fans, the fans aren’t the ones. It’s the dorks on the internet that opinion and couch cushion book shows, and do all this stuff, and just non-stop talk s**t about what we’re trying to do,” Strowman explained. “I didn’t see any of you guys getting cast and thrown into the deep end of the pool, you know, in the middle of a pandemic when the whole world is in a frenzy not knowing what was going on.
“I jumped on a jet and flew back. I had no idea they were putting me over to beat Goldberg,” he continued. “I came back because people need an outlet, people need a way to check out from reality, and by me going to work and me being selfless and putting my health, my risk on the line while not knowing what was going on – I knew in the back of my mind, yeah, I’m not going to make everybody happy. You can’t make everybody happy, but there are people sitting at home that are scared, they don’t know what’s going on in the world and if I can take them out of that reality for three minutes while I’m out there wrestling, then I did my job. Because at the end of the day, that’s what it’s about. People watch wrestling to get caught up in it and forget about the bulls**t that’s going on in their lives. And having to listen, and hear, and read all this crap about this sucks, and this, and blah, blah, blah.”
The former WWE star continued to press his point, adding how difficult it actually is for someone to memorize a script with minimal time. He also commented on the “swamp fight” cinematic match he had with Bray Wyatt in 2020. According to Braun, the process of creating the match was so exhausting that he eventually collapsed from dehydration the following day.
“Like, I would love to see any of you get handed a f**king 1500 word script on a piece of paper, get 15 minutes to 30 minutes to try to memorize it, then go out and do it on live television in front of no one. You can hear your heartbeat standing out there, and it was just – that’s when it got to the point where like, I don’t know,” Braun said. “And I know that’s part of what comes along with all this stuff, but just the non-stop negativity that there is in the wrestling community, it’s so toxic. And it made me hate going to work, it made me hate this stuff.
“And I know I shouldn’t read this stuff, I know I shouldn’t care but I do because I care about my work. I care about what/how I’m projected. I want to be the best at everything I do and it’s a fault at times, but it’s like the fact of listening to these guys bury and just crap all over the match – the cinematic match with Bray Wyatt,” he continued. “They say it’s the worst match of the year, the worst they had ever seen, this, this, and this. People don’t have a clue what went into doing that! I worked for 28 hours straight trying to get this out to our fans, get a product out to try to get people to take their mind off what’s going on in the world. I went to work the next day after filming it and wrestled on television. I got home that night at like, 12 o’ clock at night, and was taking a shower and collapsed in my house. I had to get an ambulance come get me from my house because I collapsed from dehydration. I went into full-body cramps.”
This event Strowman had to cope with triggered a spiral where he says he began to hate everything in his life. The only place he found salvation was in the gym, one of the reasons his fitness has improved over the last two years.
“To have to sit there and just listen to people criticize and naysay, it made me hate everything. Not only did it make me hate having to go to work, it made me hate people in my life that cared about me,” Braun explained. “It made me hate myself and it sent me to this really, really bad place, and the only way I could get away from it was in the gym. That’s one of the reasons I’ve worked so hard in the last year, year and a half on training because it’s one of the things I can control. So many things were out of my grasp, out of my fingertips. The gym is the only place I’ve ever found solace to do what I needed to do.”
If he could face any opponent in the near future, Braun’s answer is someone most fans would expect. He specifically called out Windham Rotunda, formerly known as Bray Wyatt in WWE.
“I don’t really know if it’s one person. I think it’s anyone, anyone that has something inside of them that they need to get out. Anybody that needs to be set free, these things have always been good at setting things free,” Strowman said as he looked at his hands. “There’s only one man on this Earth that I want to see knock on that door. He’s family. He showed me things in life that I never could have imagined seeing. He bestowed the gift upon me of being the godfather to his son. Windham, I’m waiting on you, brother.”
If you use any quotes from this podcast, please credit Control Your Narrative with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.