WrestleMania is a homecoming of sorts for the WWE Universe, but especially for Intercontinental Champion Big E.
The 35-year-old defends his title on Night 2 of WrestleMania 37 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
“This is my city, I’m born and raised here, I still live here,” Big E said. “So for me to be able to come back after a year of not having fans and the first match in front of fans is at home, in Tampa, in my city, just down the road, is something that I’m really grateful for.”
Big E has spent more time in Tampa over the last 12 months than usual. The schedule of a WWE Superstar has drastically changed during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I look back now and think, ‘How did we drive 250-300 miles a night, or do four to five shows a week?’” he told NZPWI. “There would be stretches where we’d do our European tour where I’d be gone for 21 straight days … there are times where I’ve been home three or four days in a whole month.
“I don’t have kids or a wife but I like being home. I like my couch and I like my bed, I like to sleep in it. And that’s the beautiful thing. In this past year, I have been in my bed I think pretty much every night. I’ve been home every single night because Orlando is an hour and a half from me. We just finished up at The Trop [Tropicana Field, home to WWE ThunderDome], that’s about 40-45 minutes from me. I’ve been extremely grateful for it.”
Big E defends the Intercontinental Championship against Apollo Crews in a ‘Nigerian Drum Fight’ at WrestleMania 37—a stipulation that has been as confusing for Big E as for the rest of the WWE Universe.
“I don’t know what a Nigerian Drum Fight is,” he admitted. “I’ll be doing some Googling—maybe reach out to some historians … I never heard of it.
“We’re going to figure this thing out on-the-fly. Sometimes you’re just out there and we make up the rules as we go. I don’t know, I’m sure there will be some clarification at some point, but you can expect brutality, and physicality, and violence, and pain, and suffering … it’ll be physical, I can assure you of that. I might not know the rules, but it’s gonna be physical.”
WWE WrestleMania 37, Night 2 airs live from 12pm (NZST) on Sky Arena & WWE Network.