– WWE Intercontinental Champion Big E recently spoke with Digital Spy to promote Elimination Chamber. Here are some highlights:
Why are you going to walk out of that Elimination Chamber match still holding on to your Intercontinental Title?
“The Intercontinental Championship means a lot to me. I spent years training to get to this spot and it’s right before WrestleMania. I have every intention to walk into WrestleMania as Intercontinental Champion. I have a lot of respect for Jack Swagger and what he does and for being the former world champion, but I’ve trained too long far too hard to get to this point and just give it up.”
Assuming you retain the belt, is there anyone in particular you’d like to defend it against at WrestleMania XXX?
“I work with a lot of challengers. I guess if I had to pick a dream opponent – he’s not even really with the company right now – but I was such a massive Goldberg fan as a kid. It would really be a dream if he could somehow come back. To have a title match with Goldberg would be a dream fulfilled.”
There’s been talk of Hulk Hogan returning in some capacity in this anniversary year – how would you feel about that?
“I think it’d be great for us. Hulk Hogan still has that aura, even though he’s obviously older now, and probably not quite in his prime. But I think he’d be great for us because I know people in their 40s and 50s who remember watching Hulk Hogan as a kid.
“People who may not watch wrestling now, if they heard Hulk Hogan was coming back they might tune in. That buzz that he creates, the buzz of Hulk Hogan, I think would be good for business, so I’d definitely look forward to it.”
People who have followed Emma from NXT are already won over, but others aren’t so sure – do you think they’ll be pleasantly surprised once she gets in the ring?
“I think people will be surprised. Obviously being in NXT and in training too, in the same building as her… if you’ve just watched her on the main roster you don’t realize at all what she has to offer in the ring, and I think people will definitely be surprised.”
No-one quite knows what’s happening with CM Punk at the moment – would you be at all surprised to see him return between now and WrestleMania XXX?
“I think it’d be great. Obviously I’m not really aware of what’s going, but I think there’s a lot of people who desperately want him back, a lot of fans who would be excited to have him back.
“If that were to be the case, if he did return, I think there’d be a huge buzz around it. I think it would definitely be a positive thing. Like I said, I’m not sure particularly what’s going on, if there’s a chance or even a possibility or if it’s imminent. But I know if he did return there’d be a lot of buzz and a lot of happy fans as well.”
Have you had more fun as a heel or as a face in the WWE?
“Now I really embrace being a babyface, it’s something I’ve really had fun with. With NXT as well I had a lot of fun doing the five-count and there are moments as well with Dolph and AJ that I really enjoyed. I think it was a really interesting dynamic. The role had real quirks and different personalities, but I think it worked and I was actually really sad to see that run come to an end.
“I really have fun doing both for different reasons I’m really excited in the role I’m in now, and I look forward to growing. I think there’s a lot of room for me to get better, expressing different facets and I look forward to improving.”