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Joe Gacy: Expect something 'very, very different' at NXT In Your House

The NXT title challenger talked to Denise Salcedo about Saturday's match against Bron Breakker.

Ahead of his rematch with NXT Champion Bron Breakker this Saturday at NXT In Your House, I talked with challenger Joe Gacy about his opponent, negative feedback from fans, and working with Rick Steiner.

Here are some of the highlights of our talk which you can watch by clicking above. 

Dealing with negative feedback from fans 

The Gacy character has certainly been a talking point among fans. When he was first introduced, he ruffled some feathers with some of the verbiage he used during his promos to the point Fox News wrote an article with the headline that read, "WWE pins woke left with controversial new wrestler." 

It was in Gacy's promos where he would mention the ring being a "safe space," "male privilege" and more. Since then, the character has evolved into a more spooky smoke and mirrors type of character, but still tends to be one of the more heavily criticized aspects of WWE NXT 2.0.

How did he handle the social media backlash?

"I love it. I wouldn't trade it for anything. Whether you want to cheer me or boo me, I love every moment of it. Just being able to be here and do what I am doing is crazy. The last two years have been crazy, but good crazy. So to be able to get any kind of reaction out of the WWE Universe has been great for me, whether  it's good or bad." 

"I do what I enjoy and what's good for me. If I followed what a lot of people online say, I should probably hate myself. But I don't do that so much so it's okay."

Character inspirations

"I don't think I pulled inspiration from much of anything. It might be weird to say that, but it's kinda always just been there for me. I probably couldn't put my finger on anything specific, but I grew up a huge movie buff and I've watched WWE since I was a kid. I came up watching guys like Mick Foley, I've always been a big Mick Foley fan. So I don't know if that's something that's a part of me, it might be. Becoming an adult, I kinda just soaked a lot of things in and I've always just kinda had ideas and I've always been writing ideas, I used to write stories, so I am always full of ideas and I never stop thinking." 

Becoming a focal point of NXT 2.0

Since the black and gold brand was ditched for the new colorful era of NXT 2.0, there have been a lot of new faces. One of those has been Gacy, who has been featured consistently on the new brand for the most part.

"It's very exciting. Once I found out that the changeover was happening to 2.0 and there was a group of guys and a group of females that were really gonna start taking NXT into the new era, and realizing that I am one of these people was a huge compliment to me. At the time, I was like, 'This is gonna be a challenge but I am ready to take it on and go.'"

Feuding with Breakker & Rick Steiner

For the last several weeks, the Gacy/Breakker feud has built up even more. We have seen him play mind games with Breakker by kidnapping his father, Rick Steiner, and scaring him with mementos from his past. This, of course, is all leading up to their title match at NXT In Your House. 

"To be able to work with (Bron's) father, I didn't expect that. But to be able to work with essentially that family, not only was it exciting but it was a very good learning experience for me. As new as Bron Breakker is, a wealth of knowledge just from his family alone has taught me so much. He's a very physical specimen as far as being an athlete so it's a lot of fun to see the things he can do."

I also asked Gacy what fans can expect from this rematch at NXT In Your House.

"Easy answer would be that you can't really expect anything. You don't really know what's gonna happen, but what I will say is you're probably gonna see something very, very different."

The future

"Immediately, what comes to mind is to become the NXT Champion. Maybe I'll have a new goal after Saturday if I accomplish that goal. I would love to go to Raw or SmackDown and chase my WrestleMania moment. I am always thinking ahead, but right now I am very focused on In Your House this Saturday and winning the NXT Championship."