He is The Monster of All Monsters dominating the WWE landscape with his popular catchphrase, Get These Hands! There is a saying about Adam Joseph Scherr, a.k.a. Braun Strowman, that goes, “If it’s got two legs and a heartbeat, or even four wheels and a flatbed, there’s a good chance Braun Strowman has destroyed it by now. And if he hasn’t, he will!”
For millions of fans, the American professional wrestler’s middle name is destruction. During wrestling matches he has flipped an ambulance over with American professional wrestler Roman Reigns trapped inside it; he has slammed his opponent Brock Lesnar through two tables and buried him under a third.
But none of those descriptions do justice to the man when we met earlier this week over a cup of tea. As he gets up from the couch to greet me, Braun tries to be humble about his height (6’8”) by bending a bit for this 5’2” woman, and we immediately laugh.
After the success of WWE Superstar Spectacle held in Hyderabad earlier this year, Sony Sports Network, the official broadcaster for WWE in India, is hosting the WWE Superstar Braun Strowman on this tour.
Braun, who is recovering from an injury, says he feels fortunate and blessed to represent WWE in India. “It is truly an honour to represent such a company and come here to thank all the fans in India who have showered us with love and appreciation for years. It is unbelievable that the fan base is so passionate about WWE that over 40 million people watch our WWE product diligently every week. For a small town kid like me, it is truly a humbling experience,” says Braun, who is vising India for the fourth time and has been to Mumbai, New Delhi and Hyderabad.
Talking about how his average week looks like, Braun says when he is working full-time, he is on the road, travelling with the WWE team. “On Monday morning, I get ready for the weekly show Monday Night Raw. The process of getting that three-hour show out takes about 12 to 15 hours a day. People do not understand how much we actually do this every week with travelling and scheduling, making sure we stay in shape, eating right and getting enough sleep. I fly out on Saturday morning to a city that could be anywhere in the world. After checking-in, I work out in a gym to keep myself fit and going,” he says pointing to his biceps.
He adds: “Then I get some nice food, head somewhere to a building, blow the roof off the place and put smiles on everybody’s faces. Afterward, I drive up to 300 miles to the next town. I wake up on Sunday and do it all over again. At the end of the day, it is all worth it because we love seeing the response of people and I wouldn’t want to change any of it.”
Braun loves Indian cuisine and one of his favourites is butter chicken. “We went to Soho House in Mumbai and tried a lot of food. I cannot remember all the names except butter chicken. I grew up in a small town. Now, travelling around the world, having millions of fans, knowing and experiencing different cultures and cuisines makes me feel grateful for this opportunity.”
I asked him what would have happened if WWE Superstar Braun Strowman had a face off with The Great Khali in a wrestling event. Braun excitedly says, “It would be like what happened in the Greatest Royal Rumblewar, I chucked him over the top rope like the other 50 men in that match,” chuckles Braun.
He feels the future of wrestling in India will continue to grow with multiple streaming apps available on phones, television and social media. “With WWE Superstars now coming to India and with streaming channels getting bigger, it will likely motivate young fans and aspirants to chase their dreams to become a WWE Superstar some day. It is impressive to see the type of athletes India has been producing. I look forward to see more Indian WWE Superstars in the future.”
Braun says the most important aspect for any wrestler is to hone his craft. “Knowing your craft and figuring out the moments where you can relate to the audience are important because, at the end of the day, our job is to get eyes on our product for millions of people who watch from across the globe and also put people on the seats (those who come to watch us live). I cannot fully explain the feeling of performing in front of the hundreds and thousands of fans who are so passionate about WWE. There are fans who lean on our characters to help them get through their hardship. I have known young people undergoing surgery who have held on to my action figure and listened to my music. They believe that if Braun could do this, so can they; that is one of the biggest plus points of being a WWE Superstar. The wrestling part is honestly the smallest thing we do. Our greatest achievement is seeing smiles, meeting children in hospitals, doing these interviews and conveying our gratitude to every fan for supporting us.”
The last time he was seen in the Indian entertainmant industry was in 2018 on Salman Khan’s television show 10 Ka Dum, where he interacted with Salman Khan, Sonakshi Sinha and Diana Penty. “I have done a movie in 2018 called Holmes & Watson, it was filmed in London. I am looking forward to stepping into different landscapes and I am open to offers to see if I can add to the great lineage of Indian films.”
Canadian professional wrestler Jinder Mahal has introduced Braun to many Indian songs on their travel together. “I am a big music guy. Jinder would play Indian music and the beats and tunes would immediately make my shoulders and feet dance and tap.”
With multiple companies now entering the wrestling championship industry, Braun does not feel that there is anyone who can compete with an entity like WWE. “There is so much content to be consumed today. One can imitate but one can never duplicate WWE.”
Recalling the days during the COVID-19 lockdown when WWE events were organised in empty stadiums with LED panels, Braun says having fans in the stadium makes a huge difference. “Wrestling through the pandemic was a very special time. While the entire world was in this scare of uncertainty, we were the only entity in the world who was giving fresh content. It felt like a blessing to take people’s mind off the chaos we were living in. But nothing compares to coming out into a ring full of hungry, excited WWE fans cheering for us.”
Braun’s goal for 2024 is to get back in the ring. “My goal is to get back in shape and go back to doing what I do best, let’s ‘Get These Hands’ out’. The WWE Superstar Spectacle in Hyderabad had an unbelievable response and I wish to be in the ring next time in India.”