Austin Theory rejects claims he stole released WWE Superstar's gimmick (Exclusive)

Vince McMahon (left); Austin Theory (right)
Vince McMahon (left); Austin Theory (right)

Austin Theory does not believe his WWE gimmick is too similar to the character that Tyler Breeze used to portray.

Breeze became hugely popular in 2015 when he used a selfie stick during his NXT ring entrances. Six years later, Theory began taking selfies with his rivals in the middle of the ring after attacking or defeating them on RAW.

Former Women’s Champion Bayley is among those who have compared the two characters on social media. However, speaking to Sportskeeda Wrestling’s Riju Dasgupta, Theory dismissed claims that he stole his former co-worker’s gimmick:

“You see stuff online where people are like, ‘It’s ripping this off, it’s ripping that off.’ To me, it’s a different way of doing it and I’m going about it a different way. Anything that people might have seen before or think they might have seen before, they don’t want to get along with it because they’re like, ‘Well, it’s already happened.’ But I think what I do is totally different.” [13:35-14:00]

Austin Theory will be one of five challengers for Bobby Lashley’s WWE Championship inside the Elimination Chamber on February 19.

The 24-year-old is ignoring his detractors and cannot wait to take selfies with the WWE Championship if he wins the title in Saudi Arabia:

“If anybody has a different opinion to that, that’s theirs, but I think it’s gonna be great. I think it’s gonna be so great when I take that selfie in Saudi Arabia with the WWE Championship at Elimination Chamber. People can tweet all they want that they hate that. It doesn’t matter because that’s a selfie that’s gonna be in the history books forever,” said Theory. [14:00-14:21]

Austin Theory once took a selfie in a match against Tyler Breeze

Tyler Breeze defeated Austin Theory on the March 25, 2020 episode of NXT. The finish to the match saw Breeze hit Theory with a Beauty Shot after the up-and-coming star began recording their match on a phone.

Theory explained that while the moves involved in wrestling matches are important, superstars also have to create memorable moments:

“My idea is, besides doing moves and stuff like that, what moments can we create in these matches to make people go, ‘Yeah, but do you remember that match when they did that?’ To me, that’s so important and that’s what connects you with somebody.” [12:33-12:50]

Elaborating on his match against Breeze, Austin Theory revealed it was his idea to use a camera in the closing stages of their encounter:

“I remember back in NXT I had a match with Tyler Breeze and I pitched the idea about a phone. I was like, ‘Hey, I know that used to be your thing, but if I come out and I have a phone and I try to take a picture of you and we do all this stuff…’ If you go back and see the match, I think somebody tweeted about it recently. It was like, ‘Oh, wow, look at the storytelling here.’” [12:50-13:15]

The former NXT star re-debuted on RAW in October 2021 after previously performing on the brand in 2020. Austin Theory added that he had no idea WWE’s higher-ups wanted him to take selfies as part of his main-roster gimmick:

“What’s cool is when I got to Monday Night RAW, that wasn’t really an idea. I didn’t really have that in mind. They kinda told me, ‘Hey, here’s an idea. This is what we were thinking.’ So first night on RAW I’m taking Jeff Hardy out and I’m taking a selfie, so I love it. I think it’s great.” [13:15-13:35]

Theory has been one of the most featured superstars on RAW since he began appearing in segments with Vince McMahon in November 2021. On this week’s episode, Brock Lesnar attacked his fellow Elimination Chamber participant before taking a selfie with him.

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Watch the LIVE coverage of WWE Elimination Chamber 2022 on SONY TEN 1 (English), SONY TEN 3 (Hindi), and SONY TEN 4 (Tamil and Telugu) channels on February 19, 2022, starting with Extraaa Dhamaal Show at 9:30 pm (IST) followed by WWE Elimination Chamber 2022 from 10:30 pm (IST).