Pat McAfee is stepping into the squared circle for the first time ever at NXT TakeOver XXX against Adam Cole.
Speaking with ESPN, McAfee's boyhood dreams shine through as he speaks of his fondness for pro wrestling.
"I think anybody who's my age, in their late 20s, early 30s, the Attitude Era, the Monday Night Wars, just captivated all of pop culture. I mean, I remember getting an in-school suspension for doing the D-Generation X 'suck it' chops. I remember trying to Stone Cold-stun kids. I remember trying to cut a promo like The Rock in English class," McAfee said. "Monday nights, I obviously watched Monday Night Football because I come from Pittsburgh, a big football town, big football family, but boy, it was beautiful when I could bounce back and forth from Monday Night Football to Monday Night Raw to Nitro. Those were just some of my favorite times. And to be honest, ever since those days, if you talked to anybody, I've always said that I thought I was put on this earth to be a professional wrestler."
He continued, "If I was to say that The Rock, Stone Cold and them didn't help shape my personality and the human I am, I'd be lying. Then, in turn, you're seeing natural reactions from me in a lot of situations that aren't normal to everybody else, I guess.
"I feel like, I guess being a punter and being a little bit over-the-top or celebrating or showing a personality when that position doesn't normally do it, it wasn't really like me trying to do something to put myself over. I think it was just naturally what I was doing. And I think that is why I've always thought, 'I'm probably supposed to be a wrestler,' because I wear my emotions on my sleeve. I feel like I'm a pretty good talker and a pretty good athlete."
Another figure of the Attitude Era was former football player Steve “Mongo” McMichael. On the latest episode of the Pat McAfee Show, McAfee promised he would be no Mongo and he would at least know what he's doing.
Fightful will have live coverage of NXT TakeOver XXX beginning Saturday at 6:30 p.m. Eastern