WWE Superstars talk excitement ahead of SummerSlam 2019

SummerSlam 2019 is right around the corner and the WWE Superstars had a lot to say about why the major event is special to them.

Global News sat down with nine of the WWE Superstars ahead of SummerSlam to discuss the event, the WWE and all the excitement surrounding the event-packed weekend.

Samoa Joe said the pay-per-view event “is kind of our tentpole events.”

“It’s our swan song for the summer and it sets the stage leading into Wrestle Mania,” he said.

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The current Raw women’s champion Becky Lynch discussed her upcoming match against Natalya. She began with a little trash talk.

“I feel like I’m bringing something out of Nattie (Natalya) and I like that,” she said. “I like that I’m making Nattie better. She should send me some freakin’ roses and a box of chocolates.

Lynch then changed her tune — briefly.

“Nattie is probably the best technical wrestler that we have in this division. She’s an absolute legend,” she said. “She’s been here for however many years and I’ve known her since I was 18 years old. She’s oftentimes been forgotten in terms of the women’s evolution and revolution.

“But Nattie’s a sneaky snake,” Lynch added. “She’s stabbed me in the back countless amounts of times, attacked me from behind and then tried to mend the fence and made me think, ‘Oh, maybe there’s some good in this person.’

“And then she goes and tries to train Ronda Rousey even though she’s talking about how good of a friend she is to me. She saw the new shiny toy that was Ronda Rousey and she saw the attention she was getting and she wanted to hop on that bandwagon.”

“If you want to take my championship then come to me face to face. Don’t be whining about how you’re a good girl and you never got your opportunity. That didn’t work for me. I started slapping the heads off people and it worked for me.”

Lynch said that “all 20,000 members of the freakin’ Hart family” are going to watch Natalya tap out on Sunday night.

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When asked which WWE Superstar (current or retired) he would choose to wrestle in a main event like SummerSlam, Braun Strowman picked Andre the Giant.

“Andre is the epitome of sports entertainment,” he said. “He made WWE what WWE is. He made wrestling what it is in the entire world. So to be able to step in there and share a ring with someone that not only I idolize but also look up to and have such mad respect for would be amazing.

“Knowing how large a man he was and what he had to go through in life — and me having a little bit of that aspect being a larger human being. But just the respect and everything that Andre commanded, I just would’ve loved to shake the man’s hand, much less share the ring with him.”

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Big E said he’s excited for fans to see The New Day in action.

“Obviously Kofi [Kingston] has a match with Randy Orton to defend the WWE championship and [Xavier] Woods and I will be out there for support in some capacity,” he said. “I feel like Toronto’s just coming off a championship with the Raptors and we’ve got another champion. I’m excited to see what Kofi does with Randy and I think they’ll put on a hell of a show and a hell of a performance.

“The fact that we have NXT, RAW and Smackdown, we’re really taking over Toronto for a few days, so I think there’s going to be a lot of incredible wrestling, not just within The New Day, but it’s also our opportunity as a company to step out and show our fans that we can deliver a tremendous production on a several-night basis.”

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When asked what he loves most about working in the WWE, Zack Ryder told Global News “that’s a hard-hitting question because I’m sure a lot of people say this is my dream job, but this literally is my dream job.”

“The only thing I’ve ever wanted to do was become a WWE Superstar,” he said. “I even enjoy doing these interviews and talking about my career. Everything is cool from doing this with the media to doing Monday Night RAW or the live events or have podcasts about wrestling, there’s so many cool things about it.”

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Walking around the room with her championship belt was Alexa Bliss, currently one-half of the WWE women’s tag team champions alongside Nikki Cross.

“I’m excited for the matchup between Natalya and Becky Lynch,” Bliss said. “We’re in Canada and Nattie will be in her element. She’ll do what Nattie does and she will be so happy and excited. And plus, ever since Becky got this whole new ‘man’ persona, she’s gotten a little too cocky. I would like to see someone humble her out a little bit.”

Bliss also revealed that she stopped looking at what people say about her on social media.

“I stopped specifically because people are just rude nowadays. I’ve recently been putting out stuff about cyberbullying because it’s so bad and people take it to heart, especially kids. And kids are very impressionable,” she said.

“I had a friend in high school after we graduated. I found out later that her younger brother took his own life due to social media because he was being bullied and he was only 13. I get really sensitive when it comes to stuff like that, especially when I’m going through insecurity issues myself with eating disorders.

“Even though I play a bully on TV, I always try to stand up against bullying.”

Ali told Global News that SummerSlam “is a historic event.”

“We always talk about how WrestleMania and Royal Rumble have these iconic moments but I feel like Summer Slam is where matches take place with so much story behind them,” the 33-year-old WWE Superstar said. “The one that I’m specifically looking forward to the most is Randy Orton versus Kofi Kingston for the WWE championship. Randy’s words over the last few weeks… Man, talk about a story!

“WWE did this amazing video package where he basically says Kofi is a fluke and the pressure’s on Kofi Kingston to prove that all of this that happened to him is not a fluke, it’s been fate. And he’s got to do it on this big stage.”

Ali, the first wrestler of Pakistani descent, also spoke on representation in the WWE.

“What is cool is representation, because I was the kid watching wrestling and I had to see anyone that looked like me get portrayed a certain way. It was the same thing in a movie. I’d watch a movie like, ‘Oh, there’s a brown guy. Oh wait, he’s trying to blow up everything. Oh wait, there’s a brown guy — he’s a taxi cab driver. Oh, there’s a brown guy — he works in the 7-Eleven,’” Ali said.

“Those were the representations that I had. And sometimes I just wanted to be like, ‘Why can’t the brown guy be the hero or the good guy or just a normal guy?’ So it’s very rare to get out and represent that, because I know there’s going to be a kid watching TV that has a similar background like mine, has a funny name just like mine.

“All this stuff matters. It really does shape their minds and it shapes dreams. So representation is extremely important. And I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”

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One of my favorite things to do as @WWE superstar is meeting our fans. Inspiration on a whole new level. See y'all soon! 08/09: SummerSlam Meet & Greet 7PM-9PM 08/11: SummerSlam Meet & Greet 8AM-10AM

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Dwayne (The Rock) Johnson said recently that Seth Rollins will be company’s “breakout star.”

“It’s pretty wild that The Rock said last week that out of everyone in the company he sees potential in myself to become the next breakout superstar,” Rollins said. “For younger me, I would have taken that as, ‘Yeah, you’re right! I’m the man.’ Now I just see it as I’m on the right track and the hard work is paying off.”

The 33-year-old WWE Superstar said he doesn’t know any different than the wrestling world because it’s all he’s ever done since he was 15.

“And I’ve been part of the WWE since I was 21. The thing I love most is meeting the fans and just seeing how crazy — especially in a place like Toronto. Canada’s got such a history with wrestling and they love it here and then all the fans across the world travel here.

“It’s fun for me because I am that crazy wrestling fan. I just took it too far… I loved everything about it. So as far back as I can remember I was going to do it. When I was 11 I sent away to America for the inside secrets of wrestling. They told me to keep it secret so I kept it in a briefcase away from everybody. And I was just so obsessively determined to do it. And that’s the fun part for me is to talk about wrestling with fellow crazy wrestling fans.”

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Carmella said she was very excited “to be in Toronto when there’s no snow on the ground.”

“I’m excited for all the matches but I’m most excited for Trish Stratus and Charlotte Flair,” she said. “It’s something so different and I think it’s really cool that Trish is coming back. It’s something that I never really anticipated happening other than when she came back for the Royal Rumble and Evolution.”

She also said she “feels so lucky” to be part of the breakthroughs the women’s division has seen in the last few years.

“We’re finally at a point where it’s not a big deal that the women are doing any of the things the men are doing,” the 31-year-old WWE Superstar said. “For the longest time, it was, ‘Oh my gosh… the women are the main event tonight.’ Now it’s ‘Oh yeah, the women are the main event.’ With the first-ever Money in the Bank match and the first-ever Royal Rumble, we’re past the ‘first evers,’ and it’s all become equal. That, to me, is something I think we were striving for for so long.

“But I am so grateful that I will always get to go down in history as the first Miss Money in the Bank no matter what I do with the rest of my career. No one can take that from me.”

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Toronto will host SummerSlam Week beginning Aug. 10-13 with SummerSlam, Monday Night Raw, SmackDown Live and NXT taking place at Scotiabank Arena over four consecutive nights.

Saturday, August 10 – NXT TakeOver
Sunday, August 11 – SummerSlam
Monday, August 12 – Monday Night Raw
Tuesday, August 13 – SmackDown Live

(These interviews have been edited and condensed.)

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