This week, Lilian Garcia kicked things off by bringing on "The Monster Among Men" Braun Strowman to her season premiere episode of Chasing Glory on the WWE Network. In it, Garcia brought up Strowman's successful win at WrestleMania 36 against WWE Hall of Famer Goldberg, in their Universal Championship match.
But before they touched on his first successful high title award, Gracia pulled back the strings to talk about how his big win was something in the making as far back as January of 2019, when he began pursuing the Universal title. Although he found himself coming up short on that opportunity back then, Strowman says it was worth the year-long wait.
"I think a lot of it is growing up. Not only as a performer but as a man," Strowman honestly admitted when asked how he'd compared himself from last year, to when he won the Universal Championship back in April. "I'm more confident to sit down and do things like this, where [in] my life, I've never been Johnny on the spot with anything. Like I grew up... I was a shy kid, and I never talked to anyone.
"I'm not the greatest guy on the microphone, but I'd tell you what, like when they let me go, I can handle my own self... and then grooming me to be into that position, to do these things sit down interviews, to do ESPN, to do FOX...I was being groomed to be put into this position. And in his [Vince McMahon's] mind, I wasn't refined enough.
Strowman goes on to explain what he means by his refined skills and how McMahon explained to him how to polish those assets.
"I've had many conversations with Vince about working on my diplomatic skills and how I just can't bully my way through life on stuff, which has worked," he said with a grin. "It's not that I'm a bully, but when I get my mindset on something, I'm stubborn about it. So, it's also learning the aspect of sticking to your guns. But not offending anyone or coming off too standoffish.
"So, it's learning all this stuff throughout the last year and a half that has helped me grow into this position that I believe they want me to be in. At the end of the day, there's only a handful of guys that they stick into these positions to do this stuff. And it's for a reason because it's hard. It's been a huge learning experience and growing experience for not only Braun Strowman as a character, but Adam Scherr [as] a man in real life."
Since his adolescence, Strowman looked up to Goldberg, to the point that he used to use his finishers (the spear and the jackhammer) on his friends when they use to play fight. Never in a million years did he believe his squared circle hero would stand in his way towards his shot at winning this prestigious championship on the first night at this year's historic two-part WrestleMania.
"It was nuts. I mean, Bill Goldberg, a guy when I was younger, I idolized. Bill and I have kindled a good relationship over the years [since] I've been here," he noted. "We're both meatheads. We both like to go to the gym. He's also a car guy, too. So, we have a lot in common.
"[This] whole aspect was neat because I became friends with a guy I idolized as a teenager, to now sharing the squared circle with him and beating him for the Universal Championship. It was just, it's still kind of like, I'm waiting for someone to wake me up."
Although Strowman is still in his prime, the thoughts of retirement have crept into the seven-year veteran's mind. When that day comes, Strowman says that without a doubt, he will never look to do any sort of retirement tour throughout different promotions. Instead, he will hang his boots proudly up in the WWE.
"I've said it time and time again: the day I take my wrestling boots off for WWE is the day I stop wrestling," he announced with a cheerful pep in his voice. "I will not wrestle for anyone else. I've been given an opportunity from Vince McMahon and from WWE at life that I would have never gotten [anywhere else]. I told him a long time ago, the day I take my boots off from you, I'm done. And I mean that."
You can watch Braun Strowman's full interview here. If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Lilian Garcia -Chasing Glory with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.