NXT Women’s Champion Shayna Baszler was recently interviewed by Muscle and Fitness about NXT moving to USA Network, how she got into pro wrestling and more.
Check out the highlights below:
I trained with Josh Barnett, and with Billy Robinson who is a legendary British professional wrestler. The way that they do pro wrestling, they want you to have [MMA] fights first, in order to graduate into pro wrestling. I guess it was just kind of a natural progression. I was fighting for the UFC, and I tore my ACL in my last fight, and with the UFC they sign you for a few years but you don’t know when you’re fighting next. They don’t give you an advanced schedule. They’ll call you and say ‘hey we have a fight for you ’, say, in three months, ‘do you want to take it?’, but then when the fight is over you don’t know when you are fighting next, until they call you again.
So, knowing I was injured and then sitting on the bench for a little while, Josh asked me how I felt about doing some professional wrestling. I said ‘yeah, if it keeps me active, cool’, and then it has kind of just snowballed from there.
Yeah, a little bit. Rather than giving advice, it was just nice to have someone to talk about it [being in WWE] with. So, it was like sharing in the uniqueness of what we were both going through. Then, of course, Ronda getting to the position where she was in WWE, mirrored what I was going through in NXT, where we were both kind of at the top of the division.
We would get together and trainOpens a New Window., of course, and we always did that in MMA too, so it was more like getting together and just sharing in the process of it, rather than tips and tricks.
In my opinion, the NXT Women’s title is a very prestigious title to have. So, the fact that I’m the only person to have ever held it twice is a huge thing that I definitely add to my list of accomplishments and I am very, very proud of it.
We’ve always been proud of the fact that #WeAreNXT, and we say it, you know? It’s our hashtag. So, I think there’s always been a certain thing where we are NXT and we are going to be the best that we can be, and want to put on these amazing shows, and to show the product.
I think the only difference with NXT being on USA isn’t in our mindset, it’s just that everybody else is going to see it now. We are doing what we’ve always done, it’s just that now it is in front of everyone.