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“I’m Going To Go As Hard As I Can” – Pat McAfee On His Future In Professional Wrestling

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Pat McAfee, leader of The Kings of NXT, has spoken out about whether or not he would like to wrestle on a more permanent and long-term basis.

Since his impressive performance against Adam Cole at NXT TakeOver 30 this summer, many believe that the former NFL player could take up the calling full-time with just a little more training. However, when he disappeared from NXT television following the loss many thought it was the last we’d seen of the charismatic personality.

Upon his return to the company several weeks ago, Pat McAfee aligned himself with new NXT Tag Team Champions Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan, revealing himself to be the man behind Ridge Holland’s attack on Adam Cole at NXT TakeOver 31.

Now, Pat McAfee has joined the cast of Busted Open Radio to discuss his future in professional wrestling, the routine he has to endure in order to be on NXT television each week and his newest stable.

First up was the question of how involved McAfee wanted to get in the actual physical side of the business going forward. Would be remain just as the mouthpiece for his newest bloc, or would he be lacing up the boots on a regular basis?:

“Obviously, there’s a lot of people I looked up to in the past at being a-holes. I’ve always wanted to do this; this is something I’ve always wanted to do. I don’t want to say I understand the business because I learn more and more every single time, but I kind of understood the entertainment value of it – what’s good, what isn’t good, what you need, what you don’t need.

I think as I was watching from afar and through my careers, I was always kind of envious of the guys who got to wrestle in the armories and bingo halls because that’s something I always wanted to do. For two and a half years, I had to sit on the Kick-Off panel, just asking for an opportunity to do this whole thing. Now that I have gotten a chance to go, I’m going to go as hard as I can and I’m going to do everything I think I should be doing. I’m going to try to make it as enjoyable as possible, and it’s been really cool.

The people at NXT let me do what I want to do. There’s a lot of trusts, obviously. It’s a lot of responsibility too, and I enjoy the hell out of Wednesday nights. It’s my favorite thing to do on earth.”

Stating his intent to do everything, it certainly sounds like McAfee is ready to mix up when the next opportunity presents itself. However, a potential road block in his way could be the fact that unlike others, he does not reside in Orlando, Florida.

Having to travel to and from WWE’s Capitol Wrestling Center every week, McAfee revealed the grueling routine he has to undertake in order to be present and medically cleared for Wednesday nights:

“There’s a couple of conversations that happen. I get COVID tested on Sunday and Monday here in Indianapolis. Then, I get my results back Tuesday-Wednesday. If those two are negative, and as soon my show ends in Indianapolis, I hop on a plane.

Whenever I get down there, the audience is already in the Capital Wrestling Center. There’s a couple of quick conversations that have to happen. ‘This is where we’re at, this is what we need’, and I have a really good relationship with the people down there. They’re like, ‘This is what we’re thinking, you tell us.’ There’s been a lot of times where they’re not going to tell me how to be Pat McAfee.”

That the star has been able to be entirely himself in front of the camera is one of the reasons that the angle and Kings of NXT stable has worked. Entertaining and believable, McAfee is easily one of the highlights of the black and gold brand and he has no intention of allowing anyone to turn him into something else:

“I think that has been one of the coolest parts of the entire thing. It’s like, ‘Hey, this is what we think. We think this could potentially be this, but we’re not going to tell you how to do it.’ To be honest, it’s been amazing. It has been very, very cool. I know that I’m in a very lucky situation to have that happen for me and I think I have to continue to take advantage of it. When I don’t, that’s obviously going to change.

Every night when I go out there, I’m like, ‘Okay, I have to prove that I’m worth having this responsibility of doing and saying whatever the hell I damn please.'”

Moving on to his new found friends, Pat McAfee gave an interesting insight into how The Kings of NXT came about and that Danny Burch and Oney Lorcan were not originally meant to be part of the plan:

“It’s awesome. So Oney and Danny weren’t a part of the original plans. It was supposed to be Ridge Holland, and then, they take out Ridge Holland. The story is what do we do now? Pick up Oney and pick up Danny. So, I didn’t really know them in my mind. I hadn’t really had much interaction with them. Getting to know them has been awesome.

You’re talking about guys who have just grinded. Here, you got 30 years of wrestling experience between both of them. Danny Burch looks like he’s been in the best shape of his life at this moment. He lost a bunch of weight. Getting to know those guys have been fantastic, and it’s been cool to be a part of them and being a part of main eventers now. It’s been very cool to kind of see that.”

Replacing Ridge Holland with Burch and Lorcan, may would argue, was a win-win situation. However, there was still one vital part of the puzzle that was missing until NXT Halloween Havoc:

Pete Dunne is a consummate legend. I always knew whenever he came back, there was something we had in the works behind the scenes for a while. I knew it was going to be big. I knew people weren’t going to love it, but getting to meet him and learn about him has been fantastic. I really enjoy the dudes. I think that’s a big part of it by the way. In my world – in the NFL – if a team likes each other, it’s normally going to be a lot better. If a team doesn’t like each other, normally, not going to be great. I assume that translates to the wrestling business as well. We get along really well. It’s been a lot of fun kind of getting to know each other and shoot ideas. They taught me a lot, obviously, but it’s time to make a run and continue with our dominance.”

In recent weeks, The Kings of NXT have stated their intent by burning the flag of The Undisputed Era and setting their sights on Drake Maverick, Killian Dain and Breezango who they brutalised with glee.

With The Undisputed Era’s return on the horizon, it’s going to be fascinating to see how NXT go about continuing this feud before they replace Adam Cole’s band altogether.

Credit for the interview: Busted Open Radio

h/t for the transcription: Wrestling Inc.