WWE has steered clear of men wrestling women in recent years but that all changed at Extreme Rules. There was an intergender match featuring Baron Corbin and Lacey Evans vs. Seth Rollins and Becky Lynch, and Corbin ended up delivering an End of Days to Lynch.
Fans didn't really know how to react and Corbin talked about that when he joined the Not Sam Wrestling Podcast.
"I was curious about the reaction. It was one of the craziest reactions that I have ever heard. When you stand behind her and I'm getting up behind her and when I snatch her and the fans are yelling, it's almost dead quiet for a second. They couldn't believe I had done it. They popped and then booed. It was the most confusing and greatest reaction of just pure, natural excitement and hatred," recalled Corbin.
"I even had to give some stuff to our social media team because I received death threats after that; it was insane. People went way overboard, but people were like, 'I'm coming to Raw to stab you.' It was crazy. I can't remember but I called Seth Rollins a piece of s**t or something. I don't know what it was, but I was so excited when I did that and the reaction was so unreal and loud that I turned around and I was mad and whatever I was feeling, it came out and it was so funny because it was totally natural. But I had to click back into the zone. It was a surreal moment that I will remember forever."
Corbin appeared on the Raw after Extreme Rules but then disappeared for a month before returning just before the King of the Ring. He talked about being off TV for a while after being the most active wrestler in terms of matches.
"Me being who I am I want to go, go, go. It's crazy because last year I wrestled the second to the most matches in the company. This year right now I am No. 1 most matches in the company," stated Corbin. "I go, go, go. I work and work because I love it. To me, it's about pride. I work for every dollar I get. I want to scratch and claw to be the hardest working guy out there especially because people don't see that; I appreciate it. People talk about how I suck, they don't realize that I have been wrestling more matches than anybody...
"I think for me, mentally it was good for me to pull back, and my body. The TV days can be long when you are there all day from noon and you're there all day getting ready for segments with the anxiety and stress of TV days. It's a lot so it was good for my body to take a break and I think it was good for the audience. It's funny because I would see a lot of comments saying how it was the best Raw ever because there was no Baron Corbin, but after three weeks they're like, wait, where's Baron Corbin? Get on the show. So, I think it's good to be missed, which is the same thing about King of the Ring. It was missed for a while and now it feels a little more special. The day I came back it was like I was never gone. They missed every bit of me."
Just like his character on TV, Corbin doesn't hesitate to speak his mind on social media either. That sometimes rubs people the wrong way but Corbin says social media can also help a Superstar better connect with the audience.
"You can still be relatable and still be an a-hole," Corbin said of social media. "It's funny because people have been saying that to me since I was a kid. They'll say, man, I like the guy but he's a jerk. You get a lot of that, especially in college where I would be getting into a lot of fights. Especially, you know, I don't really like him but if something were to go down, I would want him on my side. So I think a lot of that stuff I can be a good father and do cool stuff and still be an a-hole...
"I think it's great because it does make it relatable but it also helps people. There are people that I know like Alexa Bliss' story [on her eating disorder]. She comes out with the issue that she had and people see that and they'll say, man, I'm going through the same things and she became successful so it gives people that opportunity to have made it despite the same obstacles that they went through. Vice versa, my NFL stuff, the NFL guys are bummed out because they didn't make it in the NFL, but then they'll say, oh, well, this dude he played football and he didn't make it but look at what he's doing now. Maybe I can be an Olympic shot putter. It gives people a lot of hope, but then there's that double-edged sword where it brings people into your life a little too much and I think it's hard to find that balance to let people in."
Corbin spent parts of three seasons in the NFL before turning to pro wrestling. He was an offensive lineman which is a position that usually only gets criticized and not praised. He talked about that NFL experience helping him prepare for receiving criticism in wrestling.
"It's funny too because a lot of people have these opinions or elaborate thoughts about why things work or don't work. Well, if your opinions worked you would probably be a famous writer. You would be some sort of influential voice, they're not, they're on Twitter and they have 74 followers…," said Corbin.
"I have been used to critics since I played football as an offensive lineman. If the game wasn't high scoring or whatever, it was it was the offensive line's fault. It was never anybody else's fault but the offensive linemen's fault. It's so funny because they have no clue what they're talking about so it's really no different than what we are doing now."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Not Sam Wrestling Podcast with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.