Shayna Baszler Has a Warning for Becky Lynch: “I’m Not Ronda Rousey”

Nov 7, 2019 - by James Walsh

Shayna Baszler spoke with Newsweek for a new interview discussing her appearances on Raw and Smackdown over the past week, her upcoming WarGames match and more. Highlights are below:

On what her mindset was going into Smackdown: “It’s what every athlete in any sport dreams about. Us getting called and showing up on SmackDown is the equivalent in our world of the pinch hitter getting called in the ninth inning with a 3-2 count with two outs and is asked to deliver. Or the starting quarterback goes down and we have to go in there and put together a game-winning drive. This is everything that you dream about when you’re doing sports. It was pretty wild.”

On what they were hoping to accomplish with the NXT invasion: “We wanted to put everyone on notice. We are very aware that NXT has a dedicated fan base and its very popular with the hardcore audience. But I think all of us going in on Friday knew that we were going to be exposed to a much broader audience, a more mainstream audience, and we had to make this count. We had to deliver because this is the first time a majority of that audience is going to see us. I think we knew that, and the pressure was on. It goes to show you the type of training, and not wrestling itself at the Performance Center, but the training to be in front of an audience and cameras. We were ready [for it].”

On telling Lynch ‘I’m not Ronda Rousey’: “We talk about the mainstream audience maybe not knowing exactly who we are. But [if] there’s one thing that people who do watch RAW and SmackDown know it’s that I’m Ronda’s friend. And believe me, we share in each other’s success and celebrate with each other like normal friends do. But I’ve always wanted to make it very clear that she does her thing I do mine. I just want to make it clear from day one that we’re friends, but you’re dealing with a whole different animal. Just because you’re prepared for one doesn’t mean you’re prepared [for the other]. And I don’t just mean Becky, I mean the audience. Just because they know [Ronda] doesn’t mean they are prepared for me.”

On being part of the first women’s War Games match: “Throughout my sports career [I’ve] been involved in these pivotal, history moments and not just be a part but active. It’s just crazy because you hear these mumblings of “when is Shayna going to RAW or SmackDown,” but I’m so thankful that I haven’t because when the women’s War Games match was announced you saw a bunch of former NXT women superstars tweeting that they wish to be a part of it or saying, “hey I’m available for this match.” And I’m glad that I’m here being a part of it and not saying, “man I wish I was a part of that.” I’m a part of all this stuff right now and it’s crazy. It’s a really cool time to be a part of it the way that I am.”

On facing Rhea Ripley: “It’s always a fun challenge when you go against someone new. The energy of a War Games match, we’re very similar in our ring styles. We’re not going to do a bunch of flashy stuff. We’re just going to bring violence, and I think for this sort of match that’s what you want from your captains. We’re going to see what happens.”

On preparing for War Games: “The thing you take from War Games is that there is not a real way to prepare for this. The nature of it, two rings the weapons involved, you can’t watch a War Games match and say you’re ready. You have to understand that everyone is going to be limping out, and that’s the one thing you can prepare for. With that being said, the time I’ve spent being locked in a cage with people with the intent of hurting, I won’t be as intimidated by the steel structure itself than some of the other girls will. I have that going for me, but this is an expect the unexpected type of thing.”

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