WrestleMania: The Miz, Big E, and Braun Strowman Hype WWE’s Super Bowl
The roar of a live crowd will be heard once again at WrestleMania 37. Over two nights — April 10 and 11 — the sports entertainment extravaganza, held at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, will be (responsibly) jam-packed with matches worthy of its nickname, WWE Super Bowl.
The card includes The Miz teaming with John Morrison to face rap superstar Bad Bunny and his partner Damian Priest (Night One); Braun Strowman squaring off with Shane McMahon in a steel cage match (Night One); and Intercontinental Champion Big E defending against heated rival Apollo Crews in the first-ever “Nigerian Drum Fight” (Night Two).
In anticipation, TV Insider checked in with The Miz, Big E, and Braun as they prepared for the show.
The Miz has been training hard, fighting the “dad bod” to get into shape. The Real World reality-star-turned-WWE superstar isn’t taking Bad Bunny lightly.
“Whether you know who Bad Bunny is or not, there is no denying his talent,” Miz said. “This guy just won a Grammy, performed at the Grammys, performed on SNL, and even performed with J.Lo and Shakira at the Super Bowl. I look at it as an opportunity for WWE to get new fans. For me to be in this caliber of a match, I imagine that’s WWE’s faith in me.”
And despite the training that Bad Bunny obviously is doing, “at the same time,” said Miz, “he’s in a marquee match at WrestleMania. I’m going to make him earn his stripes. It’s my job to make him understand he is in there with the only two-time grand slam champion in WWE history. He is going to have to earn this.”
Fans who can’t get enough of Miz can catch him on Miz & Mrs, returning April 12 after Raw on USA Network.
“One of the things you’ll see going on in our lives is if we want more kids,” Miz teased. “We tackle the issue of if Maryse and I are done having kids. How do we also deal with my dad, the two moms coming in and out of the house? I guarantee our hell can be the viewer’s pleasure because it’s very entertaining and funny. We’ve been having a great time with it.”
It was heartbreaking to see New Day go their separate ways because of the 2020 WWE Draft. Big E found himself alone on SmackDown while Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods made Raw home. But Big E turned disappointment into triumph with the Intercontinental championship and a strong run as a singles superstar.
“The problem is, as a singles wrestler if the fans don’t invest in you and you don’t have the machine behind you, you can be completely forgotten about,” Big E said. “But I feel like I have too much to offer to be a guy who would just be barely on TV. I put in too much work after all these years, and built this equity.”
The 35-year-old continues to build on that equity by going up against Apollo Crews at WrestleMania. Also, there will be Bianca Belair going for the SmackDown women’s championship against Sasha Banks, and WWE champion Bobby Lashley defending against Drew McIntyre, and he has some opinions.
“When I look at Bianca and Sasha, their star power is undeniable. Bobby Lashley doing his thing,” Big E said. “You don’t see Black wrestlers getting opportunities simply because they are Black. To me, these are just the best possible candidates. It is a beautiful thing to see so many Black performers killing it right now.”
As for his own match, he says of Apollo: “Here is a guy who realized, ‘I’m way too talented to squander it all.’ Apollo realized who he is and where he came from and the path laid out before him. I can respect a guy who is very talented but not given opportunities or him not taking them. There is something fulfilling about watching people step up when they are in the ring with you.”
Check out Big E’s passion project “Our Heroes Rock,” a crowd-funded animated pilot that brings attention to lesser-known stories in black history.
Braun Strowman’s match against Shane McMahon hits close to home. He has been open about his struggles with having been bullied and with depression, and he uses this when he fights.
“People have a hard time wrapping their head around the fact that someone of my size, strength, and ability can be bullied,” Strowman said. “I’ve never been bullied physically, but I’m still a human being despite being 6-foot-8, 350 pounds chiseled out of granite, I still have feelings just like everyone else. I’m standing up for people who have been bullied. Bullying is never going away, but it’s something I feel this storyline can help.”
As for the fight, he says, “I know Shane is a maniac. I know he is going to try to hit me with everything he can, jump off everything he can. I’m looking forward to it. We’re going to beat the crap out of each other.”
The consummate entertainer gets goosebumps at the thought of working in front of a live crowd again. Strowman said he felt the anticipation building as he made the two-hour drive to Tampa.
“I know Saturday there are going to be thousands of fans in attendance at Raymond James Stadium chomping at the bit to watch me get these hands-on Shane McMahon,” he said. “It has been over a year since the WWE Universe has seen us live. I can’t wait for my music to hit and to hear that energy. I’m chomping at the bit to shut the cage door and let the monster loose.”
WrestleMania 37, April 10 and 11, 8/7c, Peacock and Pay-Per-View