A recent episode of the “Steve Austin Show” featured WWE RAW Superstar and former Wyatt Family member, Braun Strowman. You can listen to the show via Podcast One by clicking HERE.
Steve welcomes Braun to the show, and notes that they’re recording backstage at the Honda Center in Anaheim California. Steve begins by saying it’s the “family friendly show,” and advises the big man to watch the four letter words. Braun responds with a respectful, “Yes sir.” He speaks with a very thick “twangy” southern accent, and seems genuinely honored to be featured on Steve’s podcast. They begin by discussing Braun’s earlier accomplishments, prior to entering the world of professional wrestling. Braun has competed in powerlifting for several years, and notes that he was 418 pounds when he was preparing for the Arnold Classic in 2012. He says that he’s currently 375, but his weight fluctuates 10-15 pounds a day depending on what he’s consuming. He says he doesn’t ever want to be north of 400 again, and says it limited the life he was able to lead. He says he had to take special care getting in and out of cars, he needed to have his clothes specially tailored, and his girlfriend had to tie his shoes for him.
Braun says he was born in Sherrills North Carolina—a small town about 45 minutes outside Charlotte, with a population of just 950 people. He currently lives in the Orlando area, where he relocated to train at the Performance Center. He says he likes the area and notes his proximity to the airport, adding that he thinks he’ll stick around there for a while. Steve asks if Braun was always a big kid, and Braun answers by saying he graduated high school at 17 years old, standing six-foot-five, weighing 315 pounds. He says that he didn’t start lifting weights until he was sixteen years old, because his parents believed it would stunt his growth. He played football for a short while in high school, but didn’t continue due to a lack of motivation at the time. He played semi-professional football after high school and competed in an NFL combine, but never received an offer worth taking. Steve compares him to Brock Lesnar, saying that he’s a big guy with unlimited strength, but if the football mechanics aren’t there, the opportunities are limited.
Braun was introduced to the “Strong Man” world of competitive weight lifting when he was working as a bouncer in a nightclub. Another security guard noticed how large Braun was, and asked if he wanted to give powerlifting a try. Braun says he fell in love with it the moment he started. He says that, while he never lifted weights before, he was “country strong” from working on the land throughout his adolescents. Steve asks Braun what he eats on the road to maintain his gargantuan size. He says that his guilty pleasure while on the road is Chipotle. He says he always visits the local Vitamin Shoppe or GNC whenever he gets into a new town, so as to load up on power bars and protein so he isn’t “eating junk from the gas station while he’s trying to make towns.” Braun says that he turned pro faster than any American in the history of the strong man competition. He mentions that he isn’t sure if he still holds the record, but he started in 2009 and went pro in 2011. Steve asks how the powerlifting game has affected his body, and Braun rattles off a series of injuries and surgeries in his feet, legs, and arms. Six months prior to his WWE main roster debut, Braun Strowman had back surgery to repair a pinched nerve that rendered his left leg immobile. Braun sends a shout out to his friends at Silverback Clothing—check them out at www.SilverbackKrew.com—who sponsored him during his strong man days and continue to send him free clothes. They’re a big and tall style clothier whose mission statement appears to be: “#BigLivesMatter.”
Steve asks Braun to estimate his daily caloric intake, and Braun doesn’t know where to begin. He says it’s nowhere near where it used to be, but guesses it’s around 12-13,000 calories a day. Steve changes topics completely, and brings up Braun’s role in the 2016 independent feature “Three Count.” The film is about two brothers whose father passes away, and they cope by becoming professional wrestlers. Luchadors to be specific. Braun Strowman—billed under his real name, Adam Scherr—starred as a local strongman. Braun notes the irony in appearing in a professional wrestling movie that was filmed years before he ever signed with WWE. Steve asks how WWE eventually reached out to him, and he says Mark Henry was the one who turned WWE decision-makers onto Adam Scherr. He was competing at his third Arnold Strongman Classic, and struck up a conversation with the “World’s Strongest Man.” Braun says one thing lead to another and he was invited down to the FCW arena in 2012. WWE signed Adam Scherr after his final Arnold Classic in May 2013, and he moved to Orlando in July. Steve asks Braun if he was nervous coming into the WWE, especially as a fan during the Attitude Era. He says he was pretty confident because he knew he had a lot to offer, but adds that he had his doubts once the training process was underway. He says the WWE does its best to weed-people-out who don’t have the drive, nor the determination to perform on a global stage. He says he can appreciate that because nothing has ever been given to him.
Steve admits that he isn’t caught up on the current product, and asks Braun to describe his current situation on television. Braun informs the Rattlesnake that he is no longer with the Wyatts, noting that “all three other brothers are over on Smackdown.” Luke Harper, for the record, wasn’t drafted anywhere. But maybe Braun Strowman knows something we don’t. After a quick “pause for the cause,” we return and Steve asks how the trainers down at the performance center approached working with someone like Braun Strowman. Braun says he was put through the same drills and exercises as everyone else, noting a particular distaste for doing drop-down drills. Steve asks how it felt when Braun learned he’d be a member of the Wyatt Family. Braun says it was a mark-out moment, for sure, and says he was incredibly lucky to be partnered with three guys like Bray Wyatt, Erick Rowan, and Luke Harper. He says he and Bray are especially good friends, adding that it was almost heartbreaking to learn they’d be drafted to different shows. He credits Bray with helping him develop his character over the past year by giving him matches to watch, post-match notes, and helpful suggestions. He says the Big Show and Kane have also been incredibly instrumental in helping to bring life into the character.
Steve begins to bring things to a close, and asks Braun what his goals are in terms of WWE competition. Braun states that he’d eventually like a shot at the Universal Championship, but knows he’s not ready for something like that at this stage in his career. He says he would much rather work heel than babyface, but the plan right now is to let the audience decide “whether they like watching him beat guys up or whether they hate seeing guys getting beaten up.” When asked about his finishing and signature moves, Braun says he’s “trying to get a reverse chokeslam over,” and Steve scrolls through Wikipedia naming every single move in his repertoire. Steve closes the show out by telling Braun he’s very impressed and wishes him luck with his career.
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