YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – If you’re reading this, you might be wondering: “How can I become a WWE superstar?”
For WWE Superstar Austin Theory, 25, pro wrestling has been something he’s been wanting to do since he was eight years old.
At 12, he decided to start lifting weights and realized that he could find a way into the business. A bodybuilder expressed to him that he could possibly get a tryout through a bodybuilding competition, as the bodybuilder got a tryout that way. At 17, Theory won a competition and thought that he would get a WWE tryout as well, but they never contacted him.
“There wasn’t an email, there wasn’t a text, nothing. So the next thing I had to do was join a wrestling school. And then that kind of led me to where I am,” Theory said.
Theory then began training with veteran wrestler AR Fox before working with smaller independent wrestling shows outside of WWE. His hustle at these shows with smaller crowds helped him get noticed, learn a blueprint to success, and take advantage of opportunities.
In 2019, he signed a contract with the WWE to wrestle at its Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. Theory wrestled in WWE’s developmental program NXT before he made his debut on the main roster of WWE the following year.
Theory quickly noticed that one of his difficulties was being out of his comfort zone. He said that his journey from bodybuilding to wrestling has provided lots of changes that he has had to adapt to.
“That’s kind of been what my journey has been about, is just being uncomfortable and having to adjust and be ready for anything. And that’s what it’s all about. And I think if you can’t adapt and you can’t evolve, it’s not going to work for you. I’m very comfortable with just letting go and saying, ‘Alright, let’s just go for it,'” Theory said.
He also said wrestlers might get down on themselves because of the obstacles that could occur. The current WWE United States champion said that a lot of people told him that he couldn’t make it.
“A lot of people are going to tell you you can’t. A lot of people told me I couldn’t, and I did it. You can do it. You just got to hang in there. It’s not easy,” he said. “There’s going to be a lot of times where you feel like, man, it’s just not going to happen, or you want to, you know, just head out, give up.”
Theory said that the most important thing pro wrestlers need to do is believe in themselves.
“If you believe in you, that’s all you need because the person that’s going to make it is you. So if you believe in you, that’s all you need,” he said.
Theory said his earliest memories as a fan were when he was watching John Cena. On Monday, Theory will be in the middle of the ring on WWE Monday Night Raw with his idol in Cena’s hometown of Boston. The young star said that a future match with the 16-time world champion would make his journey come full circle.
“That’s who interested me, in the world of sports entertainment, it was John Cena. It’s how he carried himself. Just the things he did, his effort and him in any situation. There could be six guys that want to fight him, and he wouldn’t back down. He didn’t fold, and he stayed true to himself. I think that’s something that I live by,” Theory said.
Theory is part of the WWE “Road To WrestleMania” show, which has a stop in Youngstown on Saturday, March 11 at the Covelli Centre. Tickets can be purchased on Ticketmaster’s website.
WrestleMania 39 will take place live from SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California on Saturday, April 2 & Sunday, April 3.