Exclusive interview: Shane Thorne confesses “I’m jealous” of Breakout Tournament Superstars
In an industry where opportunity means everything, it seems only appropriate that NXT General Manager William Regal would institute the first-ever NXT Breakout Tournament. With the competitors given an opportunity for not only television exposure, but also a potential future title match, the NXT Universe has already been introduced to tournament standouts like Joaquin Wilde, Cameron Grimes and Jordan Myles. The tournament has also received intense scrutiny from NXT Superstar Shane Thorne. Contrary to the opinions of others, Thorne sees the tournament as a platform to give exposure to underserving competitors. This week, Thorne sits down with WWE.com to discuss his tournament gripes and his critics.
WWE.COM: You’ve verbalized a strong distaste for the NXT Breakout Tournament. What is your primary issue with the concept?
SHANE THORNE: My issue with the concept is that it’s taking TV time away from far more exciting and talented people who have been waiting longer. People such as myself.
WWE.COM: If you were an NXT fan, don’t you think it would be exciting to see so many new faces in a tournament setting?
THORNE: None of them have struck me as anything remarkable, but if I was a fan, sure, maybe. But here’s the big thing: I’m not a fan; I’m a Superstar, so I’m not going to think like that. If I thought like a fan, I would just keep letting people shine in front of me. You know, like for a month or so, ’til I got bored and wanted the next new unimpressive thing.
WWE.COM: You’ve spent four years as a member of the NXT roster and you’ve certainly had your share of breakout moments. How do you respond to those who say that you are jealous of Superstars who are receiving a similar opportunity to what you had?
THORNE: Yeah, I’m jealous, and anyone who’s in a similar position as me would be a dirty liar if they said they weren’t too. And let’s back up a second. This isn’t the same opportunity I had. My first match on NXT TV was against two men who would go on to become champions. It’s not like these Breakout guys who are being thrown softballs with flash-in-the-pan opponents who will never go anywhere.
WWE.COM: Is your anger perhaps rooted in your own career frustration?
THORNE: Anger? Calm your farm, mate. Frustrated? Sure, but angry? Nah. I’m in complete control of my emotions, and yeah, sure, my career hasn’t gone exactly the way I had planned, but that’s not my fault.
WWE.COM: It’s no secret that you consider yourself a world-class talent. Why is that?
THORNE: Because I’ve displayed my talent around the world, duh. Look, it’s not hard to see why. I’m in great shape, heaps athletic and as charismatic as a movie star. I’m the kind of person people want to see. Even if they’re too ignorant to know it.
WWE.COM: If you were NXT management, how would you treat Shane Thorne?
THORNE: With much more respect! I’m talented, entertaining and damn dangerous. I’m a wanted man who should be the one in the spotlight, who should have the cameras on him and who should be getting the opportunities. If anything, these so-called “Breakout Superstars” should be working their tails off for the opportunity to face me!
WWE.COM: Where does Shane Thorne go from here?
THORNE: To the ring.