Former NFL punter turned wrestler Pat McAfee recently spoke with Sports Illustrated to hype tonight’s NXT Takeover WarGames pay per view, where McAfee will be leading his Kings of NXT against the Undisputed Era. Highlights from the interview can be found below.
Says NXT have an incredible amount of trust in him:
One of the lines that gets said to me a lot whenever I’m at NXT, whether it’s from the man that yelled at me about my shorts, Michael Cole, or from Triple H, they always say, ‘I’m not going to tell you how to be Pat McAfee. I’m not saying that don’t help me too, but they have an incredible amount of trust in me.
How he’s always envisioned himself as a pro-wrestler:
My entire life, I’ve envisioned myself as a professional wrestler, and I really enjoy when the lights come on. There is a lot of work that goes on when no one notices, and when that light comes on, it adds an entirely different seasoning. I’m getting the chance to do my thing as me, and I am very grateful for that.”
On teaming up with Oney Lorcan, Danny Burch, and Pete Dunne:
I’ve always been a team guy, and I’ve always wanted to be remembered as a good teammate. Getting the chance to work alongside Danny, Oney and Pete, I’ve had a chance to learn a lot from them. Danny’s been wrestling for 17 years, and getting to learn about him as a wrestler and as a man has been awesome. Biff [Oney] is a legend of a man, he is extraordinarily talented in the ring. People are going to be very impressed with Oney and Danny on Sunday at WarGames. Pete Dunne is a world-class wrestler. We’re all buying in, and it’s been an honor to be alongside them. Being their teammate is my top priority.
Says he’ll be ready for WarGames:
I was still playing in the NFL when I found out I could buy a wrestling ring. I was on the internet at three in the morning after a couple cocktails, and that’s when I bought it. I set it up in a barn, and Rip Rogers helped train me. So that’s a big reason why I was ready—I prepare. And that’s why I’ll be ready for WarGames.
How he got his own wrestling ring and used to take bumps with players on his NFL team:
I had a lot of friends come over and want to take bumps, then realize it’s a lot harder than it looks,” said McAfee. “We almost had a guy not be able to play in a game. I had a gathering on Thursday, and he thought he was going to take some bumps. I don’t need to say any names, but I will say he was a special teamer and that he was 13 or 14 beers deep when he went into the ring. He was bumping like a mad man. There were a lot of us saying, ‘You need to chill out,’ but he kept telling us, ‘I got this.’ The next morning, when we walked into the team facility, the first thing we saw was the trainers working on his neck.
How he thought his Takeover XXX match against Adam Cole would be his only one:
I thought my TakeOver match against Adam Cole was going to be my only match,” said McAfee. “Getting the chance to run it back and do it again, it’s an incredible honor. This is about to be epic.
Says WarGames will be better than Sunday Night Football:
Sunday Night Football is going to be a trash game, and it’s going to be over by halftime,” said McAfee. “Nothing is going to compete with the barbaric savagery of WarGames. It’s two rings, one big ass cage, and two teams stepping in to go at it.