Braun Strowman Opens up About His Struggles & Plans to Be Top Giant on WWE 'Raw'
Braun Strowman is the towering “Monster Among Men” in WWE, known for dominating opponents with his sheer power. But don’t let his boisterous lumberjack exterior fool you. The Raw superstar has had dark periods in his life resulting from tragedy and incessant bullying. Strowman opened up about these struggles in an installment of WWE Network’s documentary series Chronicle, and as a guest on Lilian Garcia’s Chasing Glory.
With his demons now behind him, the former Universal champion is enjoying his career and encouraging others to find their happiness. The near 7-footer, recently drafted to Monday nights and looking to make the most of the move heading into Survivor Series, gets candid about his advocacy work for mental health causes, learning from The Undertaker, and how the Raw landscape changed upon his arrival.
Is it cathartic to know your story is out there?
Braun Strowman: When we were doing the Chronicle documentary, that was hard for me. A lot of the stuff I talked about I thought I would take to the grave. Stuff I might have been embarrassed about. There is this whole thing that because I’m a gigantic, muscular guy that I’m not supposed to have emotions. That’s all a bunch of malarkey. At some point in life, everyone goes through stuff.
It wasn’t for sympathy or people to feel sorry for me. That’s the last thing I want people to feel when they think of Adam [Scherr] or Braun the character. [Life] is so worth living. No matter what is going on, you can find a silver lining in it. The glass is always half full.
The outreach I got from my fans and the WWE Universe, and from people who don’t even watch wrestling — it meant a lot to them that I was willing and able to open up and share those stories. It gave a lot of people hope. It’s all about finding a friend, work colleague, and talking and reaching out for help. That’s the cool thing about being a human being. We’re unstoppable when we work together as humans. I want people to know the world will keep on turning, but it wants you to spin with it.
You’re in such a high pressure line of work. What gets you through the lows? What keeps you centered?
The gym is very, very important to me. It has been for many years. It’s one of the very few things in life that will be true to you. It will never lie to you. If you go to the gym and are having a bad day, the weights will remind you because they won’t let you pick them up. If you’re having a good day, they’ll tell you because they will let you pick them up. There is the mindset of clanging and banging steel, throwing some heavy metal on, and just getting after it. Getting your heart rate up, sweating, and making your body hurt. It’s a good pain. It’s one of those pains I yearn for because I know I’ve accomplished something.
That feeling of accomplishment is one of the greatest feelings in the world. Setting a goal and reaching it. That pushes me through a lot of the mental stuff I’ve been through. You are your own worst critic. I sit there and judge myself. I’m so hard on myself, but then I realize what I was able to do.
You’ve been supportive of others like Raquel Gonzalez. Do you see a lot of yourself in her?
I see a lot of myself in her. She never thought she was good enough. She had people tell her that. We’ve developed a really good friendship in the last year, year-and-a-half, with going to the gym. I got her hooked up with my trainers and nutritionists. She has had such a transformation with not only her body but with her mental state. She is hungry. Her and Rhea Ripley were the best thing on television a few weeks ago. It’s amazing to see the younger talents so hungry and willing to work and do whatever it takes to take that next step. It shows how much fire there is for the business and how well this business will thrive for many years.
— Braun Strowman (@BraunStrowman) November 5, 2020
It was announced that Survivor Series will be The Undertaker’s 'Final Farewell.' What do you remember about your interactions with him?
I met The Undertaker when I came to the Performance Center. Taker has kept an eye on me since Day 1. I didn't know what I did to get in his good graces, but I’m thankful that he was willing and able to bring me under the learning tree. There are no more giants in this industry that are full-time working like I am. I feel like I am walking into some immense footsteps. I’m carrying this torch and want to represent it to the fullest. Taker is such an amazing man behind the scenes and such an amazing performer.
One of the big behind-the-scenes stories with me and Taker was him, Roman Reigns and myself were in the main event of a live event at Madison Square Garden. It was unbelievable being out there with “The Dead Man” in the most famous arena in the world. We get done with the match and he is talking with me and Roman. He goes, “It’s yours now boys. Enjoy it.” Just hear those words and having him look me in the eye and shake my hand is, words can’t describe it.
You had such a unique journey this year filling in last minute for Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 36 and defeating Bill Goldberg for the Universal title. How do you think that run went?
You never know what’s going to happen in WWE. That’s one of my favorite things about the job that keeps you on your toes. Opportunity blew the door off the hinges for me at that moment. It was a little more difficult than I think in normal times; [having] no crowd and being under the microscope without being able to hide behind the cheers or the boos and the animation of the audience, I feel like we all had to step our level of performance up. I put my head down and went to work.
In my opinion, I think I did a damn good job. I think we made the most of it. I think we did an awesome job, everyone I had to work with, and behind the scenes and story-telling. The whole aspect of it in the middle of a pandemic, I thought we hit a home run.
How do you feel about being drafted to Raw and starting this new chapter?
It’s nice to be back on Raw. That’s where the “Monster Among Men” made a name for himself. You have to constantly evolve every time we do this because if you don’t people will forget about you.
What are your thoughts on being a part of Team Raw at Survivor Series ?
Going into Survivor Series, I’ve represented both Raw and SmackDown teams. I earned my spot beating Keith Lee and Sheamus in a triple threat, even though I didn't think I needed to earn it because I had all the qualifications. Now I have to figure out if AJ Styles is going to shut up and realize he isn’t going to be the captain of this team or not. I’ll put differences aside right now as much as Keith and I have beef. The kid is trying to make a name for himself. He picked the wrong guy to make a name for himself against.
At the end of the day, I’m not moving over for anyone. If you stay on the tracks, I’m going to run you over. I’m going to do everything in my power to bring home the “W” for Raw.
WWE Raw, Mondays, 8/7c, USA Network
Survivor Series, November 22, 7/6c, Pay-Per-View and WWE Network