Interview: Shayna Baszler Talks Match Against Ronda Rousey, Love of ‘The Last of Us’, and Teases New Gear


Over the weekend, Nerds & Beyond was on-site for SummerSlam media coverage. At the press junket on Friday, Shayna Baszler, who is set to face bestie turned foe Ronda Rousey in an MMA Rules match at SummerSlam, chatted with Nerds & Beyond Editor Haley. Baszler discussed the match, her love of The Last of Us, and her Warhammer 40,000 inspired gear.

Note: This interview has been edited for clarity.

Nerds & Beyond: You have a very important and personal match this weekend. It’s the first time that we’ve seen an MMA rules stipulation in WWE. Are you excited to further blend these styles? To kind of bring people in that don’t traditionally see or watch MMA?

Shayna Baszler: Yeah, I think the cool thing for me about it is that it’s been a thing since I started pro wrestling and, if you watch my MMA career, I’m really showing the shared history that pro wrestling and MMA have. They come from the same place and being able to kind of showcase a throwback sort of blend I think is like the coolest thing for me. You see me every time I get in the ring, I like do this like point to the sky on the steps and that’s to one of my coaches, Billy Robinson, he passed away. That’s important to me that I’m carrying the torch. I think I’m excited to to hopefully put a match on that he would truly be like proud of.

Nerds & Beyond: When this feud comes to an end, when you have it in the rearview, what are you hoping to accomplish next? You know, there’s there’s a women’s champion that is unfortunately not on the card this weekend who you had a historic feud with in NXT. Could we possibly see you challenge for that championship and run that feud back down the line?

Shayna Baszler: Look, if I beat Ronda Rousey in a fight, the thing she’s best in the world at, I think everybody’s heads from top of the card to the bottom of the card — I think all of their heads have to turn my way. So I look at this like beating Ronda Rousey will be a new beginning for me. It’s only up from there, and along that path, if there happens to be certain champions there, you know, they’ll get messed up too. So we’ll see.

Nerds & Beyond: I did want to ask, because you do a lot of anime and manga inspired gear. You’ve recently done Warhammer. What can you tease about what you’re gonna do next? Do you have any ideas? Are we gonna possibly see the debut of something new at SummerSlam?

Shayna Baszler: Well, if you follow the lore of Warhammer 40,000 and The Horus Heresy, then you know what gear I will have at SummerSlam. That’s what I’ll say about that.

Nerds & Beyond: My last question, in the spirit of the summer and it being SummerSlam weekend, what has been your song/show/film of the summer? What have you really been enjoying recently?

Shayna Baszler: I mean, The Last of Us was pretty epic. I think that they did a good job as far as the video game to screen adaptation goes. It doesn’t always go well, but I think they did a great job. It got people that don’t even know about the game into the story. As much as it’s a zombie world, they did a good job making it not a zombie show. I guess, that doesn’t really count as the summer, but that’s the one that comes to mind. Oh! I just got done watching Twisted Metal.

Nerds & Beyond: It’s pretty good. Samoa Joe is in it!

Baszler: Yeah, it’s pretty good. Samoa Joe’s a fellow Warhammer 40,000 guy. I guess those two stand out to me right now.

Nerds & Beyond: Are you a big Pedro Pascal fan?

Baszler: I mean, The Mandalorian! I’m a big Star Wars fan. It was cool to see him, ’cause in The Mandalorian, he’s got the helmet and you don’t really get to see his acting. I think in The Last of Us it was a good showcase for him, and I’m glad he’s really getting elevated with all the work he’s been doing. It’s great.

Haley joined the Nerds and Beyond team in 2019 as a Writer and Editor. Her main fandoms include Criminal Minds, Wrestling, and The Walking Dead. You can find her on Twitter @haleyanne_.

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