Austin Theory is preparing for a singles match at WrestleMania 38 against Pat McAfee, but it wasn’t long ago when he was still learning the ropes in WWE’s NXT brand.

The 24-year-old says while he was there, he often sought advice from WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels, who helped him understand some of the intricacies of performing in a WWE ring.

“We’d go back and watch matches, and I remember something specifically he said when I first got there, when I was 22,” Theory recalled in an interview with TalkSPORT. “This was the most confusing thing but I’m glad I figured it out.

“He told me, ‘Hey, when you go out there,’ he was like, ‘Are you having fun?’ I was like, ‘Yeah, I’m having fun.’ And he said, ‘You know, like hearing the people and everything?’ And I was like, I don’t really know if I hear the people and everything because I’m so focused on what I’m trying to do in the ring.

“He said, ‘You’ve got to find who you are and be yourself,’ but at 22, I didn’t know who I was. So I’m like, ‘Wait, what? What do you mean?’ I would think about that a lot. I was still doing the same thing but I was trying to figure out his advice. Be yourself? Then I realized it was about letting a little loose. Have fun. Everybody knows being outside of the ring and being able to do promos and backstages, that’s what makes the character.

“That’s what gets people invested. It would be like watching a movie and it’s just action the whole time, you’re not really going to relate to anybody. That little piece of funny advice he gave me at the time went a long way. But I really tried to figure it out because I was like, Shawn Michaels isn’t just going to say this to me.”

Austin Theory’s much-anticipated match against Pat McAfee is currently scheduled to go down on night two of WWE WrestleMania 38.

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