BRAUN STROWMAN says winning the Universal Title at WrestleMania capped off the “craziest 24 hours” of his life.
The Monster Among Men was not due to fight at the Showcase of the Immortals - which is in two parts for the first time ever.
Following the outbreak of the coronavirus, the show was switched to WWE’s Performance Center in Orlando to be filmed in front of zero live fans.
Roman Reigns was due to battle champion Goldberg for the gold before the Big Dog pulled out amid health concerns over the Covid-19 bug.
That led to Strowman being called in as a late replacement - the only problem was he had already driven 21 hours away.
But after a mad dash, he defeated the WCW legend and WWE Hall of Famer to win the championship and fulfil a dream.
Speaking tonight on WWE’s “The Bump”, less than a day after his triumph was broadcast in the first part of ‘Mania, he revealed how he discovered he would be taking on Goldberg.
Strowman said: “Oh my god. Literally, thinking about it right now, it’s probably the craziest 24 hours of my life.
“I loaded up last week when everything was starting to lock down in Florida, I was like, ‘I wanna go get in the country.’ I got some land up here in Wisconsin. I came up here to see my family and get away.
“I drove 21 hours and was an hour away from home. And I got a phone call, ‘There’s been some last-minute changes. We need you. It’s an emergency. We’re sending a jet to get you. You leave at 9:00 p.m.’
“So I literally got into Wisconsin for three hours, went back, jumped on a jet, flew back to Orlando, landed at 1:30 in the morning. I got up, hit the ground running and lo and behold, came out of the back end the new Universal Champion.”
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And now he has the gold around his waist, the 6ft 8in giant has vowed to be a fighting champion. Strowman said: “You know, here’s the thing. I’m bringing the Universal Title back to Smackdown and going to represent it week in and week out, and I’m open for anybody.
“I wanna make this title mean something. You know, we’ve had so many guys in the last two-three years holding this title that show up when they feel like working and when it’s convenient for them or when the paycheck’s right. You know what, man?
“I don’t care. I wrestle the exact same whether it’s in front of zero people or 100,000 people because I know that people pay their hard-earned money to come and get taken out of reality.
“They invest themselves emotionally in me, and you know what? It’s my job to go out there and perform for them and entertain them. I absolutely love it.”
Click here for the full match card for tonight’s second part of WrestleMania 36.