While the NXT Women’s Division has develop into deeper and extra achieved, there’s been one fixed: NXT Women’s Champion, Shayna Baszler.
The “submission magician” has develop into one of the dominant wrestlers in NXT historical past, turning into the primary two-time NXT ladies’s champion. She holds the title, and the division, on her shoulders because the promotion begins a brand new period on the USA Network.
Newsweek spoke with the NXT Women’s Champion forward of her match in opposition to Candice LeRae to speak in regards to the transition to stay tv and what she has deliberate for NXT.
Note: This interview has been calmly edited for readability and size.
Feelings going into this week’s episode?
I really feel nice. I’ve all the time been a gamer in any sport I’ve accomplished. When the stress is on, I carry out rather a lot higher.
This is a good time to indicate the world, and with an opponent as skilled as Candice, to not simply present the world what I can do however to indicate the world what our ladies’s division can do. The women did an excellent job of that on the primary episode. Just to indicate the [viewers] that that is the norm and it isn’t an anomaly. That was the norm for us.
Is there a stress to be the face of this division since you have been on NXT tv longer than most of the ladies within the roster?
There is a stress simply because. Not a lot placed on me as a result of I’m “the face” and I’ve to behave a sure method, however due to the historical past of what the ladies’s championship means to this division. NXT has all the time positioned a excessive worth on the ladies’s division and the ladies’s title, so to only be part of that legacy there’s stress regardless. We have the perfect coaches on this planet, and I’m fairly fortunate because the starting, even earlier than I used to be signed, to have the perfect coaches on this planet. I’ve gotten fortunate.
Those coaches serving to your transition from MMA to wrestling?
I believe my MMA background could be very a lot in catch wrestling in a nutshell. Catch wrestling is professional wrestling, so it is principally MMA. It’s very translatable. So I believe simply being very a lot introduced up within the catch wrestling background, much more so than say somebody with a brazilian jiu jitsu background… And there’s guys like Matt Riddle with MMA backgrounds which can be tremendous profitable. I’m not saying that is not it, but it surely positively helped with my transition. And Josh Barnett and Billy Robinson being my coaches in MMA, [they] are professional wrestlers themselves. They are the kind of old-school coaches which can be going to coach me for right here, so it is simpler.
How has your transition been going stay?
It’s been an fascinating factor to have to fret about totally different TV features like watching your mouth or one thing like a t-shirt you put on. I do not know if it is a story I ought to inform, however I’ve a 1969 Mustang, and it is my prize possession. I’ve a shirt that claims “I heart 69 mustangs,” so I used to be going to put on it and I put it on social media however simply the digicam shot confirmed “I heart 69” they usually had been like, “No we are on tv now, so you can’t.” It’s stuff I did not consider as a result of I’m simply all about my automotive. The level of [the performance center] is to groom us for TV, so when it was time to drag the set off, we discovered that we had been extra prepared than we thought. It was scary till we received in there, after which it was “OK, we got this.”
What’s subsequent for Shayna Baszler in NXT?
I simply need to carry again that dirty, no-nonsense realism that the ladies’s division has been missing. And so long as I can keep true to that, the remaining will care for itself. I’m from the midwest, so I consider so long as you place your nostril within the grime all of it comes out within the wash. It would possibly take you a pair years longer than another person, however I’m tremendous with that, and I believe I’m lastly seeing the fruits of that.
You can name your self a veteran now. Have you discovered your self in that function to mentor different ladies?
Obviously it’s important to step into these roles. This is not the kind of sport or place the place they assign these roles. You step into the roles as they current themselves. We are getting new expertise on a regular basis, so serving to them not simply within the ring however with stuff across the PC. I’m in cost. I gotta make sure that issues are so as.
Have you considered your legacy and the ladies who got here via and what it means for NXT going stay?
The women that got here via right here from the start have all set the tone for the way nice this division has been. And if persons are ever considering watching that they’ll, they usually’ll see that it has been this nice. The factor I preserve saying is we aren’t holding again. It’s not like rapidly the reins are off. We’ve been doing this. Now everybody will get to see it on a much bigger stage. It’s not a case of “when we get on TV now we’re really going to have good matches.” It’s not any totally different from us. The groundwork was laid out for us, and we’re simply persevering with what we got here into.
Even if the time comes it’s important to depart NXT, do you are feeling this place is in good palms?
Oh yeah this place is in good palms irrespective of who’s coming via right here. The dangerous apples weed themselves out. This isn’t a enterprise you possibly can’t be in in case you do not actually adore it, and in case you actually adore it that encompasses every thing.
NXT airs stay each Wednesday at eight p.m. EDT on USA Network.