Grayson Waller, the rising WWE star, sought inspiration from an unexpected source ahead of his debut match at Madison Square Garden against none other than WWE Hall of Famer Edge. Taking a page from the iconic NBA legend Reggie Miller's playbook, Waller aimed to become a modern-day New York nemesis and emulate Miller's prowess in silencing Knicks fans with his clutch performances.
In the 90s, Reggie Miller earned a reputation as the "Knick Killer" due to his remarkable ability to sink crucial shots and deflate the spirits of New York Knicks fans at Madison Square Garden. His most memorable feat was scoring 9 points in a mind-boggling 8.9 seconds during the 1995 NBA Playoffs against the Knicks.
Australian Sensation Embraces MSG Legacy
Hailing from Australia, Grayson Waller understood the significance of MSG as a legendary venue in the world of sports and entertainment. Preparing for his matchup against Edge, Waller admitted to immersing himself in Miller's highlights, studying the art of taunting and toying with Knicks fans, hoping to channel that same energy in the squared circle.
In a recent interview on "MMA Hour," Waller candidly shared his pre-match experience, stating, "I found out the day before that this [myself vs. Edge] was a match that could be happening. This was my first match back from injury, so I was really stressing.
I sat in my hotel room and watched Reggie Miller in MSG highlights—that kinda fired me up. Was it 9 points in 8.9 seconds or something? I was watching that. I also watched Conor [McGregor], Eddie Alvarez, and all the background of that in that venue.
That completely got me ready." Drawing inspiration from both the NBA legend and MMA superstar Conor McGregor, Waller incorporated McGregor's signature "hands behind the back" gesture into his performance as a tribute to the charismatic fighter.
"I've always been a huge Conor fan because he is who he is," Waller expressed with admiration. "I think Conor's a professional wrestler. Though he's not in a professional wrestling ring, everything about him is a professional wrestler—the way he moves, builds up his fights, he's a professional wrestler.
He even does the Vince [McMahon] walk and everything." As the night approached, Waller's nervousness gave way to confidence and determination, fueled by the legacies of Reggie Miller and Conor McGregor, both masters of their respective crafts who once graced the same iconic arena.
Armed with this newfound motivation and ready to etch his own mark in MSG's history, Grayson Waller stepped into the ring, prepared to deliver a performance that would do justice to the legacy of the arena's past legends.