Tonight on Raw, Baron Corbin will face Chad Gable in the finals of the King of the Ring tournament, a match most are expecting him to win, which will make him the first WWE King of the Ring since 2015. This is the same Baron Corbin who has already been “Constable” and Acting General Manager of Raw, as well as winning Money in the Bank in 2017. All of this came after he was called up from NXT and immediately won the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal in his Main Roster debut at WrestleMania 32.
I think a couple of things helped me; No. 1 being in stadiums, being around that large crowd [from playing in the NFL] and being around that pressure when your job depends on it. When you are in the NFL your job depends on how good you play. If you are not playing good enough you go home. You no longer have a paycheck, so I think that helps me get ready. It teaches me to deal with the pressure of those things.
I also look at it from where I want to go not where I am at. I train and I try to develop myself to where I want to be so that I am ready when I want to get there so getting to that WrestleMania match it was what I had already trained for so I was ready. The nervousness was there in a good way not in a bad way. I think debuting like that, I fit the WWE roster mold much better than the NXT mold. It’s a different style. It’s cool because it was the underground, cool, heavy metal band. I was so different than anybody else. I was a bit more old school in the aspect of I’m not doing moonsaults, even though I could do them. I dove for 10 years. I can do a moonsault off the top rope if I need to but I don’t.
Corbin doesn’t buy into the idea that WWE misuses NXT call-ups or denies them opportunities:
What’s crazy is when people say, “I don’t want these guys to get called up so that they can be misused.” Nobody is being misused. They’re going to be given opportunities; they’re either going to make them successful or not, that is just the way it is. There is a reason why NXT and Triple H has built an amazing thing down there because it gets guys ready to come down here [to the main roster].
He’s getting guys ready to come to the main roster and sometimes people get called up they may not be absolutely ready or whatever the situation didn’t fit the way that they originally thought it would be, but it’s just going to take time to rebuild or figure it out, which is on the guys. When they get called up it is up to the guys to find success. John Cena is somebody who has always preached that. It’s on you, it’s not on anyone else. If guys are being misused it’s not anybody’s fault but their own. They have to find an avenue to get successful, to get creative, to pitch ideas, and it’s hard because you do get lost in the shuffle here. There are a lot of guys that I think do great things when given the opportunity but it’s all about fighting and finding that opportunity.
Basically, he has no patience for people who blame others for their lack of success:
That’s a sad story for a lot of people nowadays. If something doesn’t work it’s always someone else’s fault or nobody wanted them to do it. It’s just one of those things, it’s like if you really wanted to get something and really go, people are going to appreciate it even if it takes longer than expected. I had hoped to be world champion by now; it’s taken me three-and-a-half years. It’ll come, it’s just going to take that grind. Some guys have been doing it for six months and are like well, it’s not going to work out for me because I’m not champion. It’s a grind. Anything worth doing is a grind so it’s that kind of thing where you can’t feel sorry for yourself and you have to keep pushing.
I think it crosses everyone’s mind, but I think it’s a good thing because it means that you care about what you’re doing but the thing is you just can’t dwell off of it. You can’t blame someone else for that. If someone else gets an opportunity that you want, hey, good for them. However they got it, they got it. Whether I cry because they got it because they didn’t deserve it or they didn’t earn it doesn’t concern me. I have to figure out my next route to get to where I want to go.
It’s not that Corbin’s opinions on doing the hard work to get yourself over are exactly bad. It’s just a little hard to take the guy who’s call-up from NXT began with a WrestleMania win particularly seriously when he says that everybody gets opportunities and should just run with them. Tell that to EC3 — if you’re looking for him, he’s probably in catering.