There's no doubt about it, Apollo Crews went to war with Big E this past Sunday at WrestleMania 37. The two superstars battled it out over the Intercontinental Championship in the first-ever Nigerian Drum Fight. In the end, it was Apollo who walked out as the new Intercontinental Champion.
The match ended up being one of the shortest on the show, but it's not how much time you get, it's what you do with the time you've been allotted. The Nigerian Drum Fight certainly lived up to its name from a metaphorical standpoint, as both men beat the tar out of each other for seven solid minutes.
Apollo Crews took some of the nastier bumps in the match, including a uranage from the ring apron onto the steel ring steps and a "nobody home" frog splash through a table.
Speaking to Sportskeeda Wrestling this week, Apollo Crews said without a doubt this was the most brutal battle of his career, and he was feeling it the next day. So what did he do the Monday after WrestleMania? Naturally, he went to the gym.
"My shoulder was hurting. My toes were hurting. My toenails were hurting. My eyes were... everything was hurting, but it's nothing that I'm not used to. You know, we experienced pain all the time and you just have to get up and keep fighting."
Winning the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania was easily the biggest moment of his career, according to Apollo Crews. It's been a nearly seven-year grind to get to where he is now, and he's not going to stop until he reaches the top of the WWE mountain. Even then, however, it sounds like Apollo will find a way to keep climbing.
"That is just the competitor inside me. That's just the spirit inside me. Just relentless, you know? I want to keep growing. I want to make this title reign one of the best in WWE history. I want to make it a long and historic title reign, and I'm accepting all challengers. It does not matter who you are. I will fight anybody. I will bring the fight to anybody. Just like I expect them to bring it to me. A lot of respect goes to Big E, because he brought that fight. He brought something out of me and I know I brought something out to him that he never knew was there."
Apollo Crews certainly has his sights set on bigger and better things in the future. But Apollo says his victory on Sunday will always live on in his memory and in WWE history. But for now, it's all about making sure that wasn't the only opportunity he'll have to shine on The Grandest Stage of Them All.
Apollo Crews says he is just getting started
The COVID Era in WWE has certainly had varying effects on each superstar. Apollo Crews is one of those stars who have flourished over the past year. After nearly four years of trying to break through on the "main roster", Apollo finally captured his first championship last May when he defeated Andrade for the United States Title.
It was earlier this year, though, that Apollo Crews really started to find the edge he needed to stand out when he debuted his new Nigerian Royalty persona. Apollo told Sportskeeda Wrestling that for years, he had heard negative comments from fans and critics.
"Many would say I'm lost. Many would tell me I need character. You know, I can't talk. Whatever it was. I don't think many would assume that I would have won the Intercontinental championship at WrestleMania."
Emphatically, he would repeat that he won the Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania. It took years of hard work and dedication, but to his point, Apollo Crews has finally reached a level that many thought he'd never reach.
We asked Apollo to look back on his career. From the days of "The Titus Brand" to all the time he spent sitting backstage, to right here and now - what has Apollo Crews learned most about himself?
"I've learned that I'm very strong mentally. I learned that no matter how things are going, my attitude is always the same. You know, always positive and always getting back to work. That's what I've learned about myself is that I never give up, I don't quit. That's something that a lot of times you can say, but when you're faced with some kind of adversity or you're faced with a certain situation, it can be easy to quit, but I've learned myself that there is no quit inside me. I strive to be the best. I strive to be the best me that I can be. And you have to keep going."
Apollo Crews says the days of sitting in catering and wondering about his spot on the card are over. He heads into SmackDown tonight as the Intercontinental Champion. That's one dream down for Apollo, now it's on to the next one.
Also, for those wondering, Sportskeeda Wrestling did ask about Dabba-Kato after the big man appeared out of nowhere on Sunday to help Apollo Crews win the Nigerian Drum Fight. Apollo wouldn't give us much, saying if we're lucky, we'll find out some answers tonight on SmackDown.
We got a DX member to talk about one of their most memorable segments. Click here for more.