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WWE NXT Superstar and former TNA Impact Wrestling World Heavyweight Champion Bobby Roode recently spoke to RVA Magazine.
So far it seems to be working out for you as you’ve become one of the most popular wrestlers in NXT, and maybe WWE too. How much of the new character is your creation? Obviously, your theme song has a lot to do with it and building that aesthetic, but how much input and control do you have over it?
I had a song that was picked out that was different than the “Glorious Domination” that everyone is familiar with now. Triple H came to me and said the song I chose originally really didn’t fit the character that he saw. We talked in great lengths about how I wanted to portray myself as a character. I wanted to bring back the robes and wanted to kind of go back to the character I portrayed before. The “Glorious Domination” song was created for someone else and it just happened to be there, not being used, and I got to listen to it. It was obviously very different from the song I chose originally, but Triple H was a fan of it, I was a fan of it, Michael Hayes was a fan of it, a lot of people were fans of the song. I thought, “Hey, why not? Let’s give it a whirl.” The song itself took off and delineated the entrance and character and everything. That entrance at Brooklyn… obviously I had a lot of great creative minds helping me out there, but honestly, once I’m out there, I just kind of do my own thing. I just felt the music if that makes any sense and kind of just fell into my character. Everything just flowed.
NXT is WWE’s own developmental territory, but at 39 and wrestling since 1998, how do you envision your role there surrounded by all of these rookies, so to speak?
When I came to WWE, all I wanted was an opportunity and it gives me an opportunity so I’m having a great time in NXT. As far as a developmental territory, I’m not too sure of that. I mean, I guess in a way it’s fair to say that, but in another sense, NXT is its own brand. If TakeOver: Brooklyn II was any sign where you have almost 15,000 people in a sold-out arena for a “developmental” territory — [that’s] pretty impressive. I’m sitting here in Norfolk, VA now getting ready to do a live event. We’re a touring band, we have a television show, we’re doing TakeOvers, we’re traveling next month to Japan and New Zealand and Australia. As far as I’m concerned, NXT under the WWE umbrella is the hottest brand.
Finally, there are a ton of impressive wrestlers in NXT at the moment, many that you’ve crossed paths with in the past. Is there anyone you’re excited to get a chance to get in the ring with at the moment?
The performance center in Orland is unbelievable. There are so many guys down there right now that are so good and getting ready to debut on television and have such a huge upside in this business. A couple of guys come to mind, but one guy for sure is Riddick Moss. He’s such a big talented guy and he’s got a great look and I believe he’s in the Dusty Classic teaming with Tino Sabbatelli and people are going to see these guys. Tino Sabbatelli is another guy who’s extremely athletic with an NFL background and he’s got a huge upside in this business. There a bunch of guys down there that I’m chomping at the bit to get in the ring with, but obviously if you’re asking me who I want to get into the ring right now, it’s Shinsuke Nakamura as our champion. No question.