Intercontinental Champion Big E is one of the most formidable Superstars in the WWE today and recently he took a few minutes to chat to the Whitby Gazette’s Karl Hansell.
The former power lifting champion is set to appear in at Leeds’ First Direct Arena on May 16,
Raised in Florida, it will be a first trip to Yorkshire for Big E, who said: “We are really excited about performing in front of people in Yorkshire. It’s one of the highlights of our year and we are very happy to be able to go back.
“I am very thankful for our fans and we are very excited.”
The WWE came to Leeds for the first time last November, but Big E missed out on that trip.
However, during the UK tour he did manage to sample some of fish and chips, but given he was in Manchester at the time, he said he wished he had the opportunity to sample the real deal in Whitby.
“A lot of times we are just in and out of towns so quickly, so I haven’t been able to see too much of England yet,” explained Big E. “Usually we are really busy, but from time to time if we can visit things we do.”
Staying in the peak of physical fitness while travelling so much is also difficult and so when Superstars arrive in a new town, they have strict priorities. Big E explained: “One of the first things we do when we get off the plane is we find food and a gym. Often it’s a case of finding a gym as quickly as possible, even with very little sleep.”
This commitment to hard work keeps the WWE Superstars on top of their game - which is necessary when grappling with some of the scariest human beings who have ever lived.
Whitby may be famous for Dracula, but it is a real life monster that Big E said is the scariest he has ever met.
He explained: “Based on sheer size, it’s the Big Show. He’s such a massive human being. He’s quite a bit taller than I am but I have actually lifted him up, just to see if I can.”
Weighing in at 200kg and measuring 7ft tall, that shows the sheer strength of Big E, who maintains his physique using a strict diet of high-protein foods such as red meat and steaks. When he visited England for the first time this included fish and chips, and he said he hopes to sample some more this time around.
“I really enjoyed it,” he said. “It was really good.”
Spending most of the year touring around the globe, Big E said he occasionally gets to sample some local delicacies that make fish and chips seem tame by comparison.
The weirdest thing he has ever eaten is fried alligator, and Big E added: “It actually tastes a lot like chicken, but it tastes a little different as far as the tenderness goes.”
However, with a Jamaican father who often rustled up treats such as chicken or pig feet, Big E said he got used to eating “weird stuff” as he grew up.
It has been a meteoric rise to the top for Big E, who only made his WWE debut just over a year ago but managed to secure the prestigious Intercontinental Championship - held by legends such as Bret “The Hitman” Heart and Stone Cold Steve Austin - in November last year.
He will be hoping to still be holding the belt when he comes to Yorkshire in May. But before then, there is the small matter of Wrestlemania 30.
Big E said: “That’s obviously the goal for all of us. It’s the Superbowl, the highlight of the year, and to actually be on that card is definitely at the top of my priorities.”
WWE Live returns to the First Direct Arena in Leeds on May 16. For more details or to book tickets visit www.wwe.com