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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Logan Paul earning respect as United States champion; Grayson Waller exclusive interview

Love him or hate him, there’s no denying that Logan Paul gets people talking and puts bums in seats – and his continued growth in the professional wrestling industry is one of the most remarkable stories in WWE history.

Just nine matches into his career, the social media megastar and entrepreneur has shocked fans with his insane ability from bell-to-bell, squaring off against some of the promotion’s biggest stars and capturing the prestigious United States Championship.

Paul – still only 28 years of age – has competed in just nine matches since officially debuting for WWE less than two years ago, taking like a duck to water and cementing himself as a bonafide box office attraction and reliable in-ring performer.

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In just his third match in November 2022, Paul challenged Roman Reigns – the longest reigning world champion of the modern era – in a main event bout in Saudi Arabia, before competing against Seth Rollins last April at the company’s showcase event WrestleMania, stealing the show in front of close to 70,000 fans in Los Angeles.

Since then, Paul has continued to improve and defeated Hall of Famer Rey Mysterio at last year’s Crown Jewel pay-per-view, becoming a champion for the first time.

And while there were sceptics at first, Paul has shown off his desire to become one of the best performers in wrestling, putting in the work and fully committing to his craft, learning from the likes of Shawn Michaels and Triple H along the way, while showing off his unbridled athleticism and hard-hitting strikes on numerous occasions.

Speaking exclusively to Wide World of Sports ahead of Elimination Chamber in Perth later this month, Aussie star Grayson Waller explained why there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to ‘The Maverick’ and praised his unbelievable rise.

“He is switched on and he knows what’s going on,” the Sydney-born product said.

“You can say whatever you like about him as a person, you can not like him as a person, but as a performer – name someone who has done what he has done in such a short amount of time? You’ve got to respect the fact that he is putting the effort in.

“Just seeing how much Logan wanted to learn from Shawn and being there and seeing it first-hand … he cares and he’s putting the effort in.

“If you don’t like that, it’s probably because you’re jealous and you can’t do what he does and you wish you could.”

Paul has been likened to Kurt Angle and Brock Lesnar for his ability to pick up nuances that veteran wrestlers could only dream of, while maintaining his divisive public persona when he steps on-screen for WWE on their flagship weekly shows or pay-per-views.

Waller has worked closely with Paul over the past six months, training with the former boxer and teaming up with him on SmackDown – and he believes their similar mindsets are why they have been able to mesh so well.

”I think the reason me and [tag team partner Austin] Theory get along so well with Logan is because we’re similar,” Waller said.

“We are brash, we are confident, we are who we are and don’t mind saying wild things, and we’re also very smart at going viral.

“Logan knows what he’s doing, Logan is very intelligent – there is a reason so many people know him and he makes so much money.”

Paul is slated to compete in the men’s Chamber match at Optus Stadium on February 24, with an opportunity to compete for a world title at WrestleMania 40 on the line.

It will mark his return to Australia after lighting up Perth last year during the UFC event at RAC Arena, while also promoting his best-selling hydration drink, PRIME.

Tickets for Elimination Chamber are still available with the historic event fast-approaching, with WWE now beginning to gear up for the show on their weekly programming and building towards a star-studded card.

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