WWE said Monday that starting this week it will film wrestling matches at the Amway Center in Orlando on closed sets with only essential personnel in attendance. The WWE is taking up a residency at the arena that is usually home to the NBA team. The Orlando Magic has decamped to the self-contained NBA campus at Walt Disney World outside Orlando, along with other NBA teams.
Kanter told Karp that he plans to leave the NBA for WWE in around five years or so. “I think, I am hoping to play five more years. So like, yeah, I got to finish up like 14-15 years in the league,” Kanter said.
“Oh my God. I’m going to be heel,” Kanter said. “I’ll be the biggest heel the WWE has ever seen! I feel like it is more fun. It’s like entertaining people more. And for me, it’s like getting in people’s face and trash talk them and troll them. I don’t cuss, but I trash talk a lot… It’s just definitely more fun to go out there and be a heel, be a bad guy, I don’t know, I just like it better.”
Before any formal jump into the political arena, the athlete has another ring he wants to throw his hat into – as a professional wrestler with the WWE. “Post-NBA, this is gonna sound weird but I actually want to join the WWE, become a wrestler,” said Kanter, who last year won a WWE 24/7 Championship belt wrestling in Madison Square Garden. “I just love WWE.”
At this point, it’s no secret that a number of NBA stars are pro wrestling fans, and we’ve seen pairs such as the Nike LeBron 14 take direct inspiration from in-ring athletes. The trend will continue this month as Damian Lillard’s signature sneaker takes on a “Stone Cold” Steve Austin theme. Branded across the midsole with rather obvious “DAME 3:16” branding—a reference to Stone Cold’s famous “AUSTIN 3:16” catchphrase—the black, blue, and gold sneaker also includes another potential nod to the WWE legend in the form of a snakeskin texture across the toe. Despite the storytelling, this does not appear to be an official collaboration with the WWE.
WWE is in Madison Square Garden in New York City for Monday Night Raw tonight. On the pre-show for the arena audience, R-Truth was cutting a promo and former New York Knick Enes Kanter pinned him to win the 24/7 championship.