A week or so before WrestleMania 36, WWE announced that Angel Garza and Andrade would be teaming up to take on The Street Profits for the Raw Tag Team Championships.
However, a few days later, it emerged that Andrade had suffered an injury and would be unable to compete on the show. He was subsequently replaced by NXT star Austin Theory.
The call-up was rushed and it didn’t really feel as if Theory fit the group. Austin had only had four matches in NXT, and was going to compete at WrestleMania in only his fifth televised WWE main roster match.
Theory recently joined Isaiah “Swerve” Scott on his podcast, where he spoke about his shock WWE main roster call-up earlier this year:
“I remember I was doing a leg workout on a football field, you know? Of course, Austin Theory is always working out, but yeah, they called me and they said, ‘Hey, we want you to come film Main Event‘. So, I was like, ‘Okay’. I get there and the Main Event match, the actual match, gets cut. So now they’re just like, ‘Just come back tomorrow and film it’, and I say, ‘Okay’. So, I show up next day, I film Main Event. I’m like, ‘Hey, do you guys need me for anything else?’ They’re like, ‘Nope’.
“So, I go all the way home and get a call, ‘Hey, you need to come to RAW. I’m like, ‘Oh, okay’,” Austin recalled. “And then we do some RAW, and then right after that, they’re like ‘Hey, you’re on WrestleMania now!’ I’m just like, ‘Alright’.”
Paul Heyman was reportedly keen on pushing younger talent on Raw during his time as Executive Director, and one of the people he was reportedly pretty high on was Austin Theory.
While speaking to Swerve, Austin Theory opened up about meeting Paul Heyman and revealed what Brock Lesnar’s advocate said to him on an independent show before he signed with WWE:
“When we did have that show on the independents and Paul Heyman showed up, he told me before he left, ‘I’ll be seeing you very soon’. I didn’t know that would be WrestleMania 36,” Austin said. “So, yeah, but people ask me how I feel, like were you nervous? But honestly man, I feel like you get nervous when you have time to… It happened so quick, so I didn’t really have the time to get all worried or, ‘Oh man, what if this goes wrong? What about this? Like, there was just no time to think. It was just, yo, go do what you know.”