Speaking of talent breaking through to the next level, WWE’s developmental system is essentially training the next generation of Superstars. Some of the more notable talent that have been introduced from there is the three wrestlers known as The Shield, who have found a lot of success very quickly. Of those currently training, who do you see as a big star in the future?
You know, it’s hard for me to say because I haven’t seen all those guys. Someone I have a soft spot in my heart for is Sami Zayn. He wrestled as El Generico in the independents. In the ring he’s just phenomenal. I saw a couple of his matches with Antonio Cesaro and it’s some of the best wrestling this year, as far as I’m concerned, even compared to the stuff you see on WWE TV.
If he can get the personality to match his wrestling skills, I haven’t seen any of his interviews, but he has loads of personality as a human being and I can only imagine if he’s able to transfer that onto television he should be a big star, I’d hope. But you never know, because size might hold him back for a little bit, but talent always shines through.
It does seem that talent is winning out over size in modern day wrestling, with WWE having a much smaller roster than you’ve seen in years.
Yeah and part of that is because fans no longer accept the slow-paced wrestling matches. Most of the big guys can’t wrestle the action-packed matches. That’s what makes somebody like Big Show so incredibly special. You see him and he’s seven feet tall and between 450 and 500 pounds. Yet, when I was wrestling him I’d dropkick him in the knee and he’d flip all the way around. He’s an incredibly agile guy, and he’s been wrestling since 1995. The same goes for Kane, who goes to the top rope.
If you’re a big guy and you can’t move well, you’re not going to last long in the modern WWE system.
Looking at your upcoming match with John Cena, is there anything you’re doing differently to prepare?
No, actually. One of the things that’s the hardest about big matches like this is to try to not do anything differently. People often think “Oh, I gotta amp up my training,” A lot of times that leads to injuries and the last thing you want to do is get injured right before a big match. So for me, it’s just a matter of doing the same thing. More than anything else, it’s just mentally preparing. With nerves and the position we’re being put in, the thing that gets me more tired than anything is being nervous.
I don’t ever get tired when I’m wrestling, except for when I have a lot of nerves. I’d like to think at SummerSlam I’ll be very relaxed, because these are the kinds of moments you want to be relaxed for so you can enjoy it and soak it all in and just have a great time going out there and doing what you love to do.
In addition to being a WWE Superstar, you’re also an E! Reality star now as part of “Total Divas,” which stars your girlfriend Brie Bella. How do you like your portrayal on that show?
Okay. So, I honestly have not seen a single episode. When the first episode aired we were in Australia and when the second episode aired I was literally on a flight. When you put that together with the fact that me and Brie actually don’t have cable [laughs], it’s hard for me to watch the show. Evidently the reception to it has been good. As for being on the show, it’s been fun but it’s also hard. We don’t have a lot of days off to begin with.
A lot of times we leave on Friday and I don’t get home until Wednesday. So Wednesday is kind of a half day, then you fly out early Friday morning. So that day and a half that used to be free time is no longer necessarily free time. But I think it’s excellent that it’s been so successful so far.