Wang Bin is a big deal.
Ring name Tian Bing, at 190 centimeters and 220 pounds, he isn’t the largest wrestler the WWE has ever signed, but the hopes placed on this 23-year-old are industry-changing gigantic.
Billed as the WWE's first mainland China recruit, he is integral to the WWE's push into the Chinese market.
That’s spoke with the Anhui-native before his upcoming Shenzhen debut about language-barriers, pressure to perform and what he would be doing if he weren't in the ring.
News articles have said you could earn professional wrestling millions of new fans, do you feel any pressure?
Of course. There’s pressure for sure, but I will transfer the pressure into energy. I will give everything that my fans give me, back to them. I hope my performances bring new fans to the WWE.
What kind of training schedule do you face? Is it difficult?
It’s hard, but doable. Actually, right now, language is the biggest challenge for me. All the coaches speak English, but I’m a fast learner and I’m giving it my best.
What was your family’s reaction when you decided to become a professional wrestler?
They were hesitant about my initial wrestling training in Japan, but after seeing my achievements, they changed their minds. They understand my dream to be a WWE superstar and they are supportive.
You’ve wrestled in both the United States and in China – what differences do you see between the two audiences?
In the US, it’s part of the culture. Fans of the WWE Universe in America have already formed the habit of watching live shows during the weekend, and they are very familiar with the WWE.
Though Chinese fans don’t have many chances to watch live shows, WWE is coming to China and giving them a chance to see their favorite superstars. We actually have a lot of hardcore fans in China.
So what sort of wrestlers do you think Chinese audiences will like the most?
Chinese fans enjoy superstars with Chinese characteristics and personalities – especially those that bring the culture to the show.
Who is your favorite wrestler of all time? Who would you like to wrestle?
The Rock is my favorite, and if I could challenge anyone it would be Nakamura Shinsuke.
If you didn’t become a wrestler, what do you think you would be doing otherwise?
Honestly, if I weren’t with the WWE, I would still be involved in the sports industry. Probably something involving health, fitness, kickboxing or canoeing – old jobs of mine.
This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.