Braun Strowman Talks ‘Tribute to the Troops’ & His Monster WWE Comeback
If you ask almost anyone in WWE what the company’s most important event of the year is, the answer isn’t necessarily WrestleMania. It’s Tribute to the Troops, a patriotic holiday tradition that sees a special card of matchups, and pays homage to the United States Armed Forces and their families.
Braun Strowman is proud to be among the WWE superstars participating during the 20th anniversary along with superstars including Sheamus, Imperium, SmackDown Women’s champ Ronda Rousey, and more. It’s especially meaningful for “The Monster of All Monsters” as the imposing figure returned to WWE a few months ago after his surprising release in June 2021. Since then the big Carolina boy got himself in top shape, ready if or when the call came from his former employer. Ahead of the 2022 Troops, Strowman opens up about his comeback.
What have the last few months been like for you as you’re reacclimated back into WWE?
Braun Strowman: First and foremost, it’s good to be home. Getting released from WWE last year was a hard pill to swallow. At the end of the day, I didn’t want to do anything else. But business is business. It is what it is, but we’re back. I’ve been well-received. The audience has been great with the reactions I’m getting every night. The interest and comments on social media have largely been nice. At the end of the day, our job is to put smiles on people’s faces. I’m back doing that.
How would you compare the locker room atmosphere from when you left to now?
The locker room is the locker room. We all play a part. We go to work and do our jobs the best we can. We make the most of everything. Not a whole lot has changed. There is so much camaraderie with the guys and girls in the back. We’re all just one big family, traveling and having fun and putting on awesome shows. In my opinion, now it shows everyone is having fun. When we’re having fun, the fans are having fun. It’s a win-win situation.
What did you take from your time away?
Making the most out of a bad situation. The timing of my release wasn’t ideal. It never is at the end of the day. But it was an awesome opportunity to take a step back and look from the outside in and go, “Wow the last five years of my life went by so fast. I never got a chance to digest everything I had done.” Within such a negative thing, I found a positive light. To see that and realize my life is really awesome. That I was blessed.
What was your mindset?
Depression did set in. Nobody wants to get fired from their dream job. I had this opportunity to take a step back, and it gave me a chance to reconnect with friends and family I hadn’t seen in a while. We don’t have an offseason and work every week, so it was an awesome opportunity to have that. I got to work on some side projects. I helped launch a mental health app called Diskuss. There is life coaching, and certified therapists with audio, video, and text service 24 hours a day. Being able to do that with other aspects of life is fulfilling to me. I find solace in making everyone happy. My whole outlook on life is doing what makes you happy. I tried to keep my mindset positive. We are going to have bad days, but you realize you have a purpose on earth and realize it’s greater than I think it is. I pushed myself with what I can control, which is why I came back in the shape I did. I could control my diet, and my training and focus on that. I know if I can make the best (real name) Adam Scherr that when I come back I’m going to be the best Braun Strowman I can on TV because that is what the fans deserve.
You received backlash for the tweet you sent out after your match with Omos at Crown Jewel. How do these tweets affect you?
I’ll be straight-up honest. It’s a tough world. People don’t realize what we actually have to go through as WWE superstars. At some time you get a lot of negative content and opinion. Don’t get me wrong. I get caught up in it and take it to heart. We are all human beings. We can’t make everyone happy. It’s realizing that you’re not everyone’s favorite flavor of ice cream. At the end of the day, WWE is ice cream. Everyone loves ice cream. It’s a matter of figuring out what you like and want. We’ve done such an amazing job through our roster of having every flavor of ice cream you can ever want. Every walk of life. That’s what makes our product so good. We have high-flyers like Ricochet and everything in between. Sometimes it’s hard to read that stuff on the internet because we can be our own worst enemies. It’s also fun to go on there and stir the pot sometimes. The unfortunate negative stuff spread 10,000 percent faster across the internet faster than positivity. Sometimes I may or may not use that in my favor, poking that proverbial bear of the internet wrestling community. I do get hot sometimes and comment back. I get emotional. A lot of times it is me stirring the pot and trying to see what I can get out of them. It’s about evoking some sort of emotion. Look what that one tweet turned into.
What does it mean to you to be part of Tribute to the Troops?
It’s the most prideful and honored we do every year. Our troops go in and protect us and our freedoms. It’s the least we can do. Without them doing what they do there, is no Braun Strowman. There is no WWE and none of these amazing things we have in this country. It’s the least we can do. It’s such an honor to travel on the bases and wrestle on the show. It’s near and dear to all of our hearts.
Who are you wrestling on the show?
I’m facing LA Knight. It’s the first time I’m mixing it up with him. A younger talent in WWE, but a seasoned talent in the industry. We came in together actually in developmental when I started with WWE in 2013. Unfortunately, my situation getting released from WWE a year ago happened to him. But everything happens for a reason. We come back full circle. He is charismatic on the microphone and a force to be reckoned with. At the end of the day though, they call me the “Monster of All Monsters” for a reason. You’re going to have to tune in to see why.
How are you spending the holidays?
I’m going to be spending Christmas in North Carolina with my mom and dad. We’re doing this weekend in Chicago. I’m actually doing something cool and hosting Monday Night Football in Green Bay against the Rams on December 19. It’s a bucket list thing for me because I have a lot of my family from Wisconsin. I’ll be doing that. Then I’ll fly back to Florida, load up my dog Bella and make the drive to North Carolina. I actually talked to mom and dad today. My mom asked if we didn’t mind not having turkey for Christmas. I said, “Absolutely. How about some steaks? We’re going to be firing up the steaks. My sister is coming to town. It’s going to be short and sweet because we head right after Christmas for the WWE holiday tour and Madison Square Garden. We’re just keeping the train moving.
Tribute to the Troops, December 17, 2:30/1:30c, Fox