Braun Strowman on what Goldberg said about dropping the WWE Universal Championship to him, his surgery, being released by WWE, says he sees Bray Wyatt every day

By Jason Powell, Editor (@prowrestlingnet)

Insight With Chris Van Vliet with guest Braun Strowman
Host: Chris Van Vliet
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On knowing he needed to have surgery: “So I didn’t know I had stenosis to the spine. So stenosis of the spine, yeah, it’s basically where it’s tightened around your spinal column. So I only had nine millimeters of clearance around my spine between my C4 and C5 vertebrae. I didn’t know that and I got hit wrong during a match and my head whipped back. When my head whipped back and pinched my spine it felt like a lightning bolt shot out both my arms and my arms went limp. So if you watch the match back, you can see in the match where it happened. There’s a point where you see me, my arms dropped to my side, and I kind of look around really weird and I find my hands and stuff start to move again. And I’m like looking at my hands and I go to take off running and I’m all wobbly, my balance is off and things like that. We got the match finished and got in the back, and it felt like someone was pouring boiling hot water down both of my arms, it was on fire.

“So I was in this really terrifying place for a couple of weeks of not knowing am I ever going to have a normal life again? Am I going to be able to do what I love? Am I going to be able to just do anything? So it’s very fortunate that I’ve become friends with so many of the legends and things like that in this business. So I called Stone Cold [Steve Austin], because I know Stone Cold went through something like this, because I come to find out his injury was almost exactly like mine, it was just a little bit more severe. So he had stenosis in his spine when he got the piledriver and it pinched his spine and it pushed all the fluid out of his spine and bruised and he was actually paralyzed from the neck down for like 30 seconds.

“So having him talk to me and kind of almost giving me the proverbial it’s gonna be okay, it was a very big breath of fresh air. Because like I said, I didn’t know what was going on. And WWE takes unbelievable care of their talent and, talking with Hunter [Paul Levesque] and stuff like that, and him going ‘look, what we’re doing right now is not as important as what you’re going to be doing in 15 years of your life, get it taken care of, you’re important, you’re not going anywhere. If you can wrestle again, you can, if you can’t, we’ll figure it out.’ So having that pat on the back again, like giving that reassurance because you’re not guaranteed anything. So having them be able to put me in the place to have the best surgery that I can, go into the WWE Performance Center, having the best rehabilitation that I can. I couldn’t be more thankful that I’m taken care of by such an amazing company.”

On winning a World Championship: “In my mind, I didn’t know how long it would take, but I knew it was gonna happen. I’ve been very good at manifesting things in my life because I just grew up with nothing. So I had to work for everything. The only thing I’ve ever had given to me in my life is a f—ing hard time and pardon my French. But yeah, so like just knowing that, I can’t remember what documentary it is I start off talking at the beginning of it, it shows the full circle where at one point, we were getting close for me to be the champion, something happened and Vince [McMahon] had changed his mind on it. And the show comes to this interview after I had this meeting with him and I was pissed off about it. Because I was like I don’t know what I’m not doing right what I’m not doing wrong, this and that. And that whole documentary leads up on me being told that it’s not my time to be champion. And it led to me beating Goldberg to become the Universal Champion. And it’s so crazy to see all that come to fruition in the story.”

What it meant to be a World Champion: “It meant the world because I like I said, as a kid growing up idolizing him to becoming friends with him you know, unfortunate circumstances with everything going on with the pandemic and what happened, he wanted me. So he picked me to do that and do the honors and pass that torch. [Did he reach out to you to tell you that?] Not initially, but when we got there [it] was a whole thing. He goes to me he’s like, look, let me not paraphrase it wrong. He said I can count on one hand how many people that I would do this for and I still have three fingers left.”

On his 2021 release: “It f—ing sucked. I mean, at the end of the day how else do I say it, it sucked. I had no intentions of going anywhere. But that’s an unfortunate part of the business, you know, business is business. And at the time that was the decision, I guess that they needed to make. And clearly, it wasn’t the right one because I’m back.”

On knowing he would return: “I knew, I knew for a fact. And that’s what I said, I got reached out by everybody, come here, come wrestle for us. And I’ve said it time and time again, I’m loyal to this company. Because of what this company has done for me, my family, my loved ones, I’m just loyal. And I knew for a fact that I would be back because this is where I belong. I truly believe I was put on this earth to be a WWE Superstar.”

On Bray Wyatt: “I see him all the time. It’s crazy, it really is crazy. I don’t know how spiritual anyone is, but I had a very deep connection with him. I see him, there’s things that remind me of him constantly. Every day there’s something and I can feel him. He’s still around.”


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