SPORTbible Chats To 'Mr Money In The Bank' Baron Corbin
WWE superstar Baron Corbin goes into Summerslam, WWE's second big event of the calendar year, in a wonderful position.
Not only will he step into the ring with 16-time world champion and face of the company, John Cena, being Mr Money in the Bank, he could well use his guaranteed title opportunity at the expense of Jinder Mahal or Shinsuke Nakamura, who are tussling it out in the WWE world title bout at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
When speaking to SPORTbible back in November prior to a live event in Manchester, 'The Lone Wolf' expressed his hunger to win a championship in WWE and predicted that after he put a "beating" on a few more people, his opportunity for gold would arrive.
Now, through the luxury of the Money in the Bank briefcase that he won in June, he has the ability to demand a world title shot whenever he wants, wherever he wants - any time, any place, and the statistics, which have seen only two Money in the Bank holders fail to capture the title, would suggest that Corbin will soon be at the top of the mountain on Smackdown.
"Walking away with that Money in the Bank briefcase is going to get me to the level of where I want to be," he said.
"It's definitely keeping my mind focussed and my body ready to cash in at any moment, any day, any country, any city, anywhere in the world, so it's a good pressure to have on my back and it's exciting. I carry that briefcase everywhere I go, there's a good energy that makes me really want to make the most of my opportunity to walk away WWE champion.
"It's amazing to know that I'm number one contender no matter who thinks they are because I get my match any moment, any time, anywhere, any country - we could be on that European tour, it could be a show there where I see my opportunity and cash in. That's the coolest thing about it - I'm guaranteed my title shot when I want, not when they want, not when Shane McMahon wants, not when Daniel Bryan wants, when I want.
"There's no-one that can stop me and it doesn't matter what shape the champion is in; if he's lying helpless on the mat or whatever it may be, I get my shot. It's an awesome feeling; a great sense of power with that briefcase so it's just excitement every day."
Corbin will be watching Mahal and Nakamura's match very closely and admitted that cashing in at Summerslam is very much an option. But before then, his sights are firmly set on John Cena, with Smackdown General Manager announcing the two will square off on August 20 in a match that gives Corbin the chance to prove himself against the face of WWE.
"He is the guy on the pedestal." he explained.
"You have to go through John Cena to think you can become champion, you have to go through John Cena if you want to be considered a top guy. Right now I don't enjoy John Cena because of what he did when he put me through a table and stuck his nose in my business when I just wanted to have a few words with Shinsuke - words that involved hitting him with the briefcase.
"I think that I do have a bit of a bone to settle with John and if he wants to go at Summerslam, I'm more than happy to give him a beating in front of that many people."
In our previous chat, Corbin had picked out Randy Orton, the 13-time champion, as the guy he desperately wanted a piece of - labelling a potential match as "a violent game of chess". However, the former NFL player also fancies a crack at the Universal Champion Brock Lesnar and feels with his athletic prowess, he could hang with the Beast Incarnate.
"I would love it," was his swift response when asked about potentially stepping in the ring with the former UFC heavyweight champion.
"I think he is a physical specimen, he got his hands on me a little bit in the Rumble and when he smashed him in the face, I was like 'Man, this dude is something special!'. I would love that [a match with Lesnar]. I would love to see what I'm made of, to see how much I can take and see how much I can dish out to a guy like that. It would be an unreal experience and I would love to test my skills from boxing, jiu-jitsu and judo against a former UFC champion and now a WWE champion. That would be awesome."
As we know, Summerslam isn't the only high-profile sports event taking place across the pond in the coming weeks, as Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor will slug it out in their eagerly-anticipated mega-bout in Vegas on August 26. We asked Corbin, a two-time Golden Gloves winner, for his prediction for what is arguably the biggest fight in boxing history and he was highly definitive in his response.
"I got Mayweather all the way and that's because of a few things. I think McGregor is a world-class fighter, a world-class jaw-jacker, same as Mayweather but he's coming into Mayweather's world. Mayweather's 49-0 and this is what he's done forever and McGregor's going to have to change his style, change his stance, change his balance because everything he does, he's not having to worry about kicks or submissions so I think it's going to be different - it's a different world and a different level of cardio. He's walking into the lion's den and I think he's in trouble. Mayweather is going to pick him apart, he's a counter-punch fighter, he's a defensive fighter. I think he's going to really confuse him and teach McGregor not to talk about things he's not the best at."
Summerslam airs live on 20 August on WWE Network.
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