If Saturday night’s Royal Rumble is the official start of the road to WrestleMania, then WWE United States Champion Austin Theory is looking to make a historic finish.
Bodybuilding and fitness sat down with the 25-year-old to find out why he started his road to professional wrestling as a competitive bodybuilder, his thoughts on a dream match with John Cena and why winning the Royal Rumble could set a precedent for the WWE.
As a childhood WWE fan, Theory understood that his square circle heroes had great physiques, and so he set about building his own.
“One of the biggest things with being a WWE Superstar is you see someone you don’t see every day,” Theory explains. “So he’s a hard-working guy and for me, at 12, I was looking for what could get me ready for WWE ‘right away’ and it’s a crazy mindset to have a kid but I was like, ‘man, I could start training to prepare for this.’ So it’s been a continuous progression of 12 years, until now, at 25. I trained almost every day, and it was about getting ready for WWE. Along the way, there was a bodybuilding show, but the bodybuilding show was just in hopes of trying to get a tryout with WWE.
Theory not only entered his first bodybuilding show at the age of 17, he came first by winning the NPC Mr. Teenage Georgia competition prize. The theory may laugh, now, that when he won that show, his phone didn’t ring from WWE like he expected, so instead he put himself on the company’s radar. struggling on the independent scene until they finally noticed it.
Austin Theory trains almost every day
Theory may no longer be competing to grace the bodybuilding scene, but he still looks stage-ready and wows fans with his defined abs and bulging biceps every week on WWE television. His love of the gym is truly stronger than ever. “Honestly, I take a day off when I really need it because for me, working out almost every day makes my body feel alive, awake, and feeling good,” he says.
Many WWE fans have also noticed that Theory has a lot in common with the legendary John Cena. Not only have they both been involved in bodybuilding prior to pro wrestling, but their in-ring skills and boyish good looks make these guys seem like cut from the same cloth. It’s no surprise to learn then that Theory grew up under the influence of “Super Cena.”
“That’s what caught my attention, and that’s sort of what started it all for me,” says Theory. When asked about the possibility of one day facing his hero, a match that millions of pro wrestling fans hope they can one day have, Theory understands how epic it would be. “It would be a hell of a game,” he said. “How would it be? I mean, we’re in the present, you know? And John Cena is in the past, man. It’s like that. I have a lot of respect for this man, but we’re in the ‘now’ so I think we all know how it would go.”
Never one to lack confidence, Theory appreciates that in order to forge his own identity, he’ll have to part ways with icons like Cena, and as United States Champion, that’s exactly what he’s doing. He’s also signed up for Saturday night’s Royal Rumble where, if he wins, he’ll earn a world title match at WrestleMania 39. Yet winning this marathon, over-the-top battle royale requires more than muscle. “Look at me last year, I was in there for over 20 minutes. I got to number three. You have to make sure your lungs are ready to take in lots of air, and most importantly; you have to survive to 29 other WWE Superstars,” says the voice of experience.
But if Theory were to succeed and outlast the other 29 competitors in order to win this thirty-sixth annual Royal Rumble, in front of thousands of fans at the Alamodome in San Antonio, TX, (streaming live on Peacock in the US and WWE Network internationally). ), then he could, in “theory”, make history. By winning the Rumble and hanging on to the U.S. Championship, Theory could find himself embroiled in World and U.S. Championship matches at WrestleMania in April. It would be an unprecedented situation. “I think that would be amazing,” says Theory. “Especially when you can be someone doing something for the first time. Who knows? I might win the Royal Rumble, get into WrestleMania and walk away with the championships. That would be pretty cute.