Tonight, at WWE SmackDown, it will be the first defense of the Big E title and it will be the crews of Apollo who will fight for the new intercontinental championship. Crews is one of the many who are excited about a Big E victory, but that doesn’t mean he won’t do everything he can to begin his next reign of title. Had a chance to talk to Crews about his big game tonight and what he hopes to add to his arsenal of Superstars, his new love for the Cobra Kai and what he hopes will be his return in 2021. First we talked about how he’s preparing to face someone like Big E in the ring, and in a way this will be their first one-on-one match against each other.
It’s so crazy, and I talked to someone before because we never, I don’t think we’ve ever been in the ring with each other in any capacity whatsoever, said Crews. So at this point, it’s hard to say it’s like studying a feature film, you know what I mean? I see every move he makes and I try to understand what he’s doing here, how he moves and things like that. At this stage it’s all about learning. But I know what I’m doing. I feel comfortable with what I’m doing. I know I have to go out there and do everything in my power to win. I’m not going in there, especially not with someone like Big E who’s done so much for this company, thinking it’s just going to be a walk in the park.
It would be foolish to think I can go there and settle down to lead the intercontinental champion. I think I’d be a fool to think that of someone at this level of competition. So I learned a lot, I watched a lot and I knew I was very comfortable and confident in what I could do.
If he manages to win, Crews feels ready to take on all the responsibility and pressure associated with being an intercontinental champion.
There’s so much history behind it and so many great intercontinental champions. I feel like I can join the ranks of the great intercontinental champions, Mr. Crews said. I don’t take weekends. I’m always trying to improve myself. I am always trying to improve myself, whatever it is, whether it is physically, my body, my personal life, professionally, whatever it is, I am always trying to improve myself.
So if I became intercontinental champion, that wouldn’t change. In fact, that’s where the work really starts. It’s a place to work harder, it’s a place to try harder. We have to get up early. You have to answer calls you don’t want to answer. Here you have to talk to people you don’t want to talk to. Crews said she was dressed like a star.
And I feel ready. It doesn’t seem easy for me, but I came here this summer as the champion of the United States, it hasn’t been that long since I’ve been in the spotlight, you could say. So it seems easier to go back if I’m not an American champion and I don’t know how it feels, said Crews. That’s what I think I can bring, and that’s what I think I’ll bring when I become intercontinental champion.
The crews are known for their skills in the ring. They possess a unique combination of athletics and strength that is rarely found in one person. However, there is another part of his expertise that he wants to bring forward in 2021.
I feel like promos and things like that I’ve worked really hard on. I want more entertainment, mr. Crews. I don’t want to be the guy who comes in the ring with nice tights and makes nice moves. You know what I mean? I feel that the entertainment part is a big part of this business, and it’s a big part of the fact that we have people, fans. Or it helps the fans get in touch with you.
That’s what really attracts people when they see who you are as a character. I think it’s very important for me to work on this project and build a bigger fan base, so people will want to see me do better. This character work is so, so important, and it’s something I’ve really focused on. One thing I’d like to show you in 2021 is this page.
That’s one of the things I realized later, where she was in the beginning: Okay, I need to be disciplined in the ring. He’s in the ring, in the ring, in the ring. And then I realized: Okay, I don’t have to worry too much. I have to take care of the other part, the entertainment part, and show people who I am as a character, said Crews. That’s why it’s important that I’m there this year.
When Crews isn’t in the ring, he’s looking for the next big movie or series that will attract his attention, and Cobra Kai manages to hook him up from the first episode.
I found that show, I think, much later than it came out, the crew said. So I didn’t find out until it came out on Netflix. I heard it was on YouTube years ago. How could I have missed that? How was I supposed to know? I was literally watching the third season from 6:00 to midnight. It’s a fantastic, great show. It’s so well written. I didn’t know I’d be here. It’s crazy.
As for who he would like to play in the show if he had the chance, Crews caught his eye on the role of Sensei. I want to be a sensei and have a group of kids I train and pass on my skills, said Crews. I don’t think I’d be such an angry person. I think my thing would be discipline.
The year 2020 has brought challenges for everything, including the fight. For the year 2021 we asked him what he would like the fans to see coming back.
I can’t lie. The Thunderdome experience is so, so incredible. It’s so different, so unique, and we’re so happy to keep performing. We were lucky to perform during the pandemic and also that we gave the fans a chance to keep seeing the product and offer some kind of salvation in everything they do, because it has been a tough year for many people. I have the feeling that the Thunderdome was such a great event that I would like to see the audience live. Nothing beats hearing the cheering, hearing the roar of the crowd and, once the music is played, hearing the audience live. I don’t think that feeling can be reproduced no matter how hard you try, you know what I mean? It’s such an important part of the company. I really miss that part. It’s one of those things we can sometimes take for granted, because now that we don’t have them anymore, we realize how great they were.
You can watch Apollo Crews win the Big E Intercontinental Championship tonight at SmackDown, which is broadcast every Friday at 8pm EST on FOX. You can also view the full SmackDown coverage here, and you can always tell me about everything WWE related on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!