At 39 years old, with nearly two decades of experience in the wrestling industry, Bobby Roode isn’t exactly a young and hungry developmental prospect, but he might very well be one of the hottest properties in NXT right now. Roode had reportedly been on WWE’s radar for many years during his time in TNA, but ultimately chose to remain loyal to the company which gave him his big break. At least until this year, when Roode made a very public departure from TNA, and shortly afterwards appeared in the crowd during an NXT TakeOver, officially signing a WWE developmental deal in mid-2016. And following in the footsteps of other veteran wrestlers who have made their way to WWE late in their careers, such as Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, AJ Styles, and Samoa Joe, Roode has flourished in his new environment, recently saying in an interview that going to NXT has added years to his already lengthy career.
This week, Bobby Roode joined the Sam Roberts Podcast and talked about the wrestlers who influenced him to finally break with TNA and join NXT.
“Yes, Samoa Joe, obviously. I know him on a personal level and worked with Joe for many years, so when Joe came over, I spoke to Joe days before he came to NXT. He didn’t really know what was going to happen either. Like me, he just wanted an opportunity and kind of like a fresh start to be rejuvenated and he got that. And, obviously, Joe’s super talented and a unique competitor, so he gave NXT something different, the NXT fans something different, and he had fan following already, which is a huge plus to start with. So I’ve seen Joe. I’ve seen him go in there and the success that he had immediately. A guy like Finn Bálor too, who I had a chance to get to know in Japan when I went over there for some short tours with New Japan, so I knew how talented he was. When he got to NXT, when he got to WWE, they used his talents. He became a superstar, so I knew that if I wanted to be the superstar that I knew that I think I could be that I had to go there. And I think, obviously, I would have to get an opportunity to prove myself, and they’ve given me that opportunity. I hope to continue to impress.”