On episode 188 of Heated Conversations: Hosted By Booker T, WWE Monday Night RAW General Manager-Elect Baron Corbin spoke with WWE Hall Of Famer Booker T on a number of interesting pro wrestlers topics. Among many other things, Corbin discussed the difficult transition from pro sports to pro wrestling, experiencing heat in the locker room for his pro football background, and embracing his authority figure role on WWE TV.
According to Corbin the most difficult aspects of transitioning from pro sports to pro wrestling are the physicality, as 'The Lone Wolf' has to exercise great restraint in the pro wrestling genre, and showing emotion when he has been trained to hide emotions in pro sports.
"It's definitely a transition. I think it's the physicality because I'm a physical person and I think sometimes we can get ahead of ourselves, but I think I've done a very good job of transitioning because I've had guys that have complemented me, 'you're good to work with because you're not killing me' type of thing. I think the hardest thing for a pro athlete trying to transition, growing up playing football and fighting and stuff like that, you're always told, 'hey, don't show your emotion, never show emotion, don't show you're hurt, don't show you're tired, don't show any of that to your opponent' and now our entire industry is emotion and getting people to feel what we're feeling." Corbin added, "I think that gets lost on a lot of guys that try to come over from professional sports, is finding that emotion. It took me a while and it's hard."
Corbin, the former offensive lineman, divulged that he definitely felt heat in the locker room when he first came to WWE, but notes that it is to be expected in any competitive workplace.
"100%, but I think that's anything in any competitive business whether it's UFC, the NFL, or WWE. It's a competitive business and everybody wants to be the best. And when there's a new guy coming in and there's buzz about him, 'oh, he was a pro football player,' you instantly have people that don't like you because they're afraid you're going to take their spot." Corbin joked, "of course, I poured salt on the wound saying, 'yeah, I'm going to take it - I get paid more than you and I'm better than you.'"
Corbin claimed to be enjoying the spotlight he has been receiving as a villainous authority figure on WWE's flagship program, as he has been given a lot of freedom on the mic.
"They're letting me have fun with it. They're letting me do it my way as me and Vince [McMahon] loves it. For the last four weeks I've been the first 15 minutes of Monday Night RAW, which is crazy. That's a John Cena spot and that's a Roman Reigns spot and I'm doing it. And it's a great opportunity and I love the challenge. I love being able to do that every single week and fill it. And right now, people have me for it and I love it!" Corbin explained, "like, they despise that I'm on their TV six or seven times a night."
Check out The interview here or by using the audio player below. If you use any of the quotes from this article, please credit Heated Conversations: Hosted By Booker T with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.