Interview: WWE's David Otunga featured on Muscle & Fitness cover

David Otunga

WWE Superstar David Otunga on the cover of December's "Muscle & Fitness." (Photo courtesy of "Muscle & Fitness")

It’s great to see a Harvard Law graduate with an Oscar-winning fiancee and the physique of a bodybuilder finally catch a break.

David Otunga – whose friendly demeanor makes him easy to like, all kidding aside – is on the cover of the December issue of Muscle & Fitness magazine. The Elgin native and WWE Superstar joins a short list of pro wrestling personalities featured on the magazine’s cover, including Brock Lesnar, Batista and WWE CEO Vince McMahon.

“They had their eye on me for a while because they admired my physique,” Otunga said over the phone while watching son David Jr.’s swim class Wednesday. “My physique is what Muscle & Fitness is all about. I’m not monstrously big. That appeals to their readers. It also didn’t hurt that WWE had a list of the top physiques of all time, and I was in the top five.”

Otunga said his muscular frame does have its drawbacks.

He and fiancee Jennifer Hudson have a hard time being inconspicuous in public – even when Hudson is wearing sunglasses and a hat – because his size gives them away. And then there was that appearance on the HLN network.

“I was on HLN recently and barely fit into the dress shirt I had tailored for me,” Otunga said. “They made it too tight. It hardly fit around my neck and once I was in it, I couldn’t move my arms. I couldn’t get it off afterward, so I just ended up ripping the back to get out of it.”

Otunga and Hudson previously lived in Chicago before moving to the suburbs so that their son could have a yard and the couple could have more space. Hudson has a designated section of the suburban house where she keeps her accolades and Otunga has a designated section where he keeps his – the basement. That’s where you can find his WWE titles and Harvard degree and where he said he plans on hanging the ‘Muscle & Fitness’ cover once he’s had it blown up and framed.

Like so many other WWE Superstars, Otunga is battling to not only add to his title collection, but also for screen time on WWE’s “Raw” and “Smackdown” programs. Otunga, who appeared in “The Call” with Halle Berry earlier this year, feels the key to getting more screen time is connecting with the audience.

Will appearing on the cover of “Muscle & Fitness” help his cause?

“I’m sure it will,” Otunga said. “It wont hurt.”

lgomez@tribune.com | Twitter @TribLuis

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