'Nothing but pride:' Wisconsin-raised wrestler Otis stars in WWE ring

MILWAUKEE -- One of the few athletic endeavors continuing during the coronavirus pandemic has been WWE wrestling. FOX6's Brandon Cruz talked with one of its rising stars who some might recognize from "Friday Night Smackdown" on FOX6.

Wrestling in the WWE takes wrestlers all across the country, arena to arena. For Otis, a star of Friday Night Smackdown, one arena is very comfortable for him. And there is a good reason why.

"I am from north of Superior, Wisconsin. I think from Milwaukee, about seven hours. You guys are here, we are way up there. I take nothing but pride every time we have been to Milwaukee," Otis said. The fans, the reception has just been fantastic. I love competing in Milwaukee."

The wrestler was born in Duluth, Minnesota before being raised in Superior and wrestled for the state of Wisconsin since middle school.

"I have a lot of pride in that. We had a lot of close matches either between Minnesota or Illinois. The two states that we always had top two dual championships," said Otis. "I am a big Packers fan. I'm a big cheesehead, man. I love my cheese. I love all that stuff. I carry my pride always on my vest. I have the state of Wisconsin flag on my vest right under Blue Collar Solid."

He made a big name for himself wrestling as a youngster in the state of Wisconsin. It brought him to national acclaim and now he is in the WWE. Otis had a big win on Friday night that puts him in WWE's "Money In The Bank" event on Sunday night, May 10 where he will have a chance to further his career.

"It's a roller coaster going into Money in the Bank, here. The strategy going in is it is Mother's Day. My momma's birthday is tomorrow. So, I hope to give her a very good present. Say that her son is Money in the Bank winner," he said. "Hopefully this Sunday that happens. I can't think of a better present to give her other than a big card a hug and a kiss."

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that event will take place under and unusual circumstances that could be called the new normal -- nobody will be in the stands.

"I just miss them. I miss the crowd big time. I mean, you get that crowd feeling towards the end of any kind of match. Right now the fans get to hear what they usually don't get to hear. All the grunts and trash-talking between the wrestlers," Otis said. "That's a new side of things. It's still fun. We're still blessed to do what we love during these stressful times of this pandemic, so."

If and when fans are able to get back into arenas, Otis is excited to see them.