Roddy shares his thoughts.
Roderick Strong has transformed himself from the babyface underdog to the devilish heel by simply joining forces with Adam Cole, Kyle O'Reilly and Bobby Fish in the Undisputed ERA. After one year the group has added an NXT North American Championship, a Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic victory and the NXT Tag Team Championships to their stable-resume'.
This weekend the band will be back together in a sanctioned match for the first time in months since Bobby Fish's MCL and ACL surgery earlier this year. The Undisputed ERA is heading into their second consecutive War Games match against new opponents; War Raiders, WWE United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne and current NXT North American Champion Ricochet. The group are tight-knit on-screen and they are real-life best friends as well as they travel the road and do interviews together which is exampled by when they all joined Sam Roberts in studio for the 'NotSam Wrestling' podcast. During the conversation Sam asked Roddy and Adam what was or has it been like to work with their respective significant others in NXT. Roderick spoke in depth about his newly-wedded wife and former MMA fighter Marina Shafir and why he was initially hesitant when he found out that she was about to be signed and heading to the Performance Center.
“But yeah it was something I was against but then I realized, it was more just fear on my behalf I guess that, like holding someone to a standard and blah, blah, blah, blah. There was just a lot of things for me personally with that… So I’m gonna hold that person, and if they don’t have the same mentality of being the best they possibly can be at something, I would have an issue with that." Strong said. "But, she’s a maniac like I am and she takes it very serious and that’s all I asked is to give your all - be it if you're good at it or not but she’s really fallen in love with it and to me the crazy thing is, just seeing her being a natural when it comes to showing her personality and that not being hard, because that was the hardest for me to ever do, and that is like super easy for her to do, and the wrestling so yeah. It’s way better than I ever expected it to be, and I’m enjoying the process of watching her grow and become.”
Roderick added that when Marina first started he was very hands on but things got rocky so he took a step back and now he is enjoying watching Marina progress instead of being so hands on.
“I was all hands on deck at first, and that was very bad for us. I’m very aggressive." Roddy admitted. "Well once you… I started working with her a little bit before she started. I knew she was going to get signed so, and then when she got there the coaches have been great. They work with her. I enjoy watching the progress more than trying to make the progress if that makes sense. It’s been fun though.”
Marina Shafir has been working the NXT live event loop in Florida and she recently made her WWE on-screen debut at 'Evolution' where she and Jessamyn Duke helped Shayna Baszler become a two-time NXT Women's Champion.
If the quotes in this article are going to be used, please credit the 'NotSam Wrestling' podcast with an H/T to Fightful for the transcriptions.