He is the first black man to win WWE’s Money in the Bank contract – something he says he didn’t realize at the time.
Now, three weeks later, wrestler Big E is back on the road and heading to Southwest Florida for Saturday’s WWE Show at Hertz Arena. And he had more time to think about his big victory.
“It’s something I can be proud of,” he says. “For me, seeing the portrayal in the media, I think it really matters.”
It’s not just the black representation either.
“You know, I look around and we have so much talent in our locker room – and not just black men and women,” he says. “But the Japanese talent. Hispanic talent. We have talent from all over. “
“And I think when our locker room looks like the rest of the world and reflects the world around us, I think that’s all we can hope for. And again, I’m very proud to be one of the black wrestlers doing cool things right now.
Big E discussed some of these interesting things in a recent interview with The News-Press and the Naples Daily News. Here’s what the wrestler had to say about:
On the way to the WWE Supershow
After taking a break during the pandemic, WWE is back on tour. And Big E says he’s happy to be here to greet his fans again.
“There is nothing like it,” he said. “I can’t stress enough how rewarding it is, how nice it is to go out there and have people behind you, to be strong and to express yourself. The shows we’ve had so far have been so much fun. “
“Nothing can ever really compete with having our fans out there, in the arenas, to be loud, to be present, to be a part of the show. Because they are really part of the show. And that’s what we all love.
The Hertz Arena show will feature some of WWE’s biggest Raw and Smackdown stars including Rhea Ripley, Bianca Belair and the main match with John Cena, Rey Mysterio and Dominik Mysterio battling Roman Reigns and The USOs.
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Be the first black man to win the Money in the Bank briefcase
“My favorite wrestler when I was a kid was Goldberg,” says Big E. “But I think there’s something about seeing yourself and seeing people like you on TV, doing the things you want to do. . I think of all the girls Bianca inspires and Sasha and so many women on our list. “
“And yes, I’m proud to go. And you know, I really looked in our locker room too, and the last couple of years it’s so great to see so many really talented black wrestlers, male and female. The fact that Sasha and Bianca won an Espy for Best WWE Moment last year – two black women put on a classic WrestleMania. It’s incredible. “
Cash out your Money in the Bank contract
“Basically with this briefcase it’s pretty much any time I can get myself a title match,” he said. “What’s cool is that it’s a bit of the element of surprise, because you never know when the cashout will take place.”
“And one night it can really change your fortune. You can go from someone who lost every night… and then you cash in and become world champion. It can really make a difference with it. “
It’s exciting for both him and the fans, he says. Because it can happen at any time.
“Maybe Roman Reigns will have this really grueling game and he’s down, he’s been there for 30 minutes, and here I am and my music is blaring,” he said. “It’s just those moments of anticipation. It’s really fun for our fans, and honestly, it’s also fun for us as performers.
His new project “Our Heroes Rock!
Big E has teamed up with journalist Andreas Hale and graphic designer Jonathan Davenport for this upcoming animated series featuring elements of hip-hop and sci-fi. The show will highlight unsung heroes in black history, as well as the history of Latinos, LGBTQ and women.
The Kickstarter-funded series could debut later this year. The first episode will focus on Ruby Bridges, the 6-year-old girl who became the first black child to attend an all-white school in Louisiana in 1960.
“The story resonates so much with us, because just thinking of being 6 years old and seeing the world and being able to take what she had to endure, to face the crowds who yelled at her and said bad things to her. horrible things, ”Big E said. “So we wanted to tell this story. … But we wanted to make sure it didn’t feel heavy, that it didn’t sound pedantic. “
“So we use 3D animation. We use hip-hop. (Rapper) Rapsody is a two-time Grammy nominee. She created a song that we absolutely love. We have Erick the architect of (hip-hop trio) Flatbush Zombies. We’re just really excited.
Big E calls the series a “spiritual successor” to the popular educational television series “Schoolhouse Rock!” “
“We thought it was perfect, especially for me, after the wake of George Floyd and his death,” he says. “I wanted to do something. We all wanted to do something. And we felt that education was just a good start, and especially to start young. “
The series will likely be posted on Twitter, YouTube and elsewhere, he says.
Connect with this reporter: email [email protected] or connect on social media at Charles Runnells (Facebook), @charlesrunnells (Twitter) and @ crunells1 (Instagram).
If you are going to
What: WWE Supershow
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday August 7
Or: Hertz Arena, 11000 Everblades Parkway, Estero.
Tickets: $ 24 to $ 114. On-site parking is $ 25
Info: 948-7825 or hertzarena.com