Courtesy of WWE

Bobby Roode is brimming with confidence head of his NXT title defense. 

By Justin Barrasso
March 29, 2017

Bobby Roode already has his flight itinerary set for WrestleMania 34.

The man behind the iconic “Glorious” theme is ready to main event the “Showcase of Immortals” next year in New Orleans, and he already has his opponent planned out.

“Whoever the world champion is, that’s who I’d like to headline against,” said Roode.

Roode made his NXT debut during last year’s NXT TakeOver: Dallas during WrestleMania, and he accomplished his goal of winning the NXT world championship this past January over former New Japan Pro Wrestling legend Shinsuke Nakamura. Roode and Nakamura are set for a rematch in Orlando this Saturday night in the main event of the NXT show.

“When you look at the two of us, it’s a clash of styles,” said the Canadian-born Roode. “That’s what makes our matches. We’re able to adapt to each other’s styles and bring our experience to the table.”

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Experience had a lot to do with the success of the first TakeOver match between Roode and Nakamura.

“Shinsuke has been very successful in Japan for a number of years, and we’ve traveled around and competed in this business for close to two decades,” said Roode. “I’m really looking forward to the rematch at TakeOver: Orlando.”

In addition to his old-school technique and layered in-ring psychology, another compelling aspect of Roode’s matches, especially at the TakeOver events, is his entrance.

“The track record of entrances at each TakeOver I’ve been a part of speaks for itself,” said Roode. “This is the biggest NXT TakeOver yet, and considering it’s WrestleMania weekend, I expect nothing less than a grand—and glorious—entrance.”

The night after Roode won the NXT title, he was congratulated backstage at the Royal Rumble by Vince McMahon.

“I was backstage and Vince walked over, shook my hand, and told me I did a great job the night before,” said Roode. “That was my only interaction with McMahon, but hopefully there are a lot more. The man is a genius, and his success has been shown for the past four decades. The company keeps doing things right, and this year’s WrestleMania shows that.”

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Roode revealed that there was no discussion of a match at WrestleMania 33, and he is content, for now, to be the face of NXT.

“The question about the main roster comes up a lot, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to be a part of that someday,” said Roode. “That’s what I’m working towards, but I’m also very proud to be with NXT as the world champion.

“The position I’ve been put in to be part of at NXT TakeOver is special. There are a hundred guys and girls in the Performance Center, but only five matches on the show. To be on the show and in the main event as the world champion, that is very special to me. I first appeared in NXT at TakeOver: Dallas a year ago, and all I was looking for was an opportunity. I got the opportunity, and here I am, 365 days later, as the world champion. I’m looking forward to the future.”

Courtesy of WWE

The NXT card is a stark contrast from WrestleMania 33. While thirteen matches are currently on the card at ‘Mania, NXT offers an exclusive format for TakeOver with only four matches scheduled.

“The guys and girls at NXT work really hard, and their drive is to get onto a TakeOver,” said Roode. “Aleister Black is making his debut for NXT, and he’s worked hard to get to this spot. That makes it a little more special. But WrestleMania is the show of the year, and every year it gets bigger and better. There are a lot of matches at WrestleMania, but there are close to 100,000 people there spending their hard-earned money. Most of them are there for the week, and they deserve a show like that.”

While the main event is reason alone to watch TakeOver: Orlando, Roode promised that he has a lot in store for the future of NXT after he defeats Nakamura.

“Shinsuke and I set the bar pretty high in San Antonio, and there is a lot on the line in Orlando,” said Roode. “The fate of NXT is on the line. Obviously Shinsuke has done some great things as champion, but I am going to make a lot of changes as I continue my run as champion. A lot of people aren’t going to like those changes. Asuka-Ember Moon has a chance to steal the show, as well as the three-way tag match, and, of course, my presence alone should sell people on watching this. This has every right to be the best TakeOver of all time.”

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