Wrestling, interview with Fabian Aichner: the Italian star of WWE NXT

Wrestling, interview with Fabian Aichner: the Italian star of WWE NXT

Wrestling, interview with Fabian Aichner

Born in 1990, South Tyrolean from Falzes (municipality in the autonomous province of Bolzano), Fabian Aichner is the first thoroughbred Italian to tread the WWE rings since the time of the legendary champion Bruno Sammartino. After showing off his athletic skills on the occasion of the Cruiserweight Classic Tournament, staged in 2016, Fabian quickly became one of the main faces of NXT, going on to win the duo titles together with his stablemate Marcel Barthel. He has already debuted on the main roster, but his dream remains to perform at WrestleMania. In view of the 37th edition of the PPV and NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver, we had the pleasure of interviewing him on Zoom. Here's what he told us.

You came to WWE in 2016, taking part in the Cruiserweight Classic Tournament. What do you remember about that experience?

I will never forget the diet regime I underwent to participate in the tournament (laughs, ed). I had to lose nearly 15 pounds in just three weeks. A very tough challenge, but one that I welcomed with pleasure. The tournament was a great opportunity for me to show the whole world what I was capable of. Although I didn't win it, it all turned out for the best because six months later I was officially signed by the WWE to go to NXT. When I received the email I could hardly believe it! I was very excited and thought it was just a joke. I am proud of the fact that all the efforts made in recent years have allowed me to reach this goal. If in life you work hard to achieve something, in the end you always succeed in your intent. I am always convinced of this motto. I still have the chills to think that four years have already passed.

At NXT you reached a great milestone last year, becoming the second Italian after the late Bruno Sammartino to win a belt. How did you feel that night? Surely it must have been a source of great pride for you.

An incredible feeling. My goal, ever since I first set foot in WWE, was to become champion and the fact that I managed to win the NXT Tag Team Championships alongside my best friend Marcel Barthel has been fantastic. I am proud to be able to represent Italy and I really appreciated the messages of affection and esteem from the fans on social media. 2020 was a particularly difficult year for the reasons we know well, but this moment made me forget all the problems for a moment and made me happy.

Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthe, members of the IMPERIUM stable, won the NXT Tag Team Championships in the episode of May 13, 2020. Credits: WWE Always to stay on the subject, the yellow show has experienced a real expansion global in recent years. There has even been talk of opening a Performance Center in India. If Triple H decided to launch NXT Italy and chose you as supervisor, would you accept the role? Do you think there are concrete possibilities for this to happen?

Absolutely yes! NXT has evolved in a crazy way and I don't see why it can't expand further in Europe, maybe in Germany and as you said, in Italy. At the moment I believe I am in the best physical condition of my life and if Triple H were to entrust me with this task, I would accept it without batting an eye. I have always loved watching Wrestling in Italy, but I knew that from a cultural point of view it was not at the same level as the States. If I could give my contribution to make the perception change, I would be 100% inside. Fingers crossed.

Fabian, I don't know if you agree with me, but in recent years we have seen the rise of the European wrestling model in WWE. I think of superstars like Sheamus, Cesaro, Drew McIntyre, Finn Balor. Do you think the American public has gotten used to it?

The European style is one of the longest-lived in the world of Wrestling and, as you rightly said, it has made a comeback in recent years by mixing with the others. In WWE you can now find everything and this is the beauty of the discipline. I too prefer to perform with superstars of different nationalities because we can experience new things and learn from each other. American fans have come to appreciate European style and the success of talents like Pete Dunne and Tyler Bate proves it. I am happy to be able to give my contribution in this constantly evolving scenario.

Before joining WWE you performed around Europe, including Italy, using the ring name Adrian Severe. What do you miss most about our country? Would you like to go back, this time along with the WWE roster?

Absolutely, I would love to. I remember with pleasure when my father took me to WWE shows in Milan and Bolzano, and I instantly fell in love with this discipline. Being able to return as an official member of the roster would be for me the closing of a circle that began years ago and the fulfillment of a dream. I miss Italy food, air and atmosphere in general, characteristics that make it one of the best countries in the world. I keep my fingers crossed so that this difficult emergency situation can end as soon as possible in order to return to live events and bring shows to Italy.

Inside the NXT Performance Center you were able to have the support of Shawn Michaels and Triple H, true WWE icons. What were their biggest tips?

My great coach once told me that in the world of Wrestling you never stop learning and it's the pure truth. I grew up in Italy watching the matches of Shawn Michaels, Triple H, Kurt Angle on TV and even today I can hardly believe that he met them personally and compared me with them. Shawn and Hunter have been instrumental in my growth path at NXT and have taught me everything. I would have a hard time telling you just one piece of advice because their training was 360 degrees and I feel honored to have been able to have them by my side. Looking back over the past four years, I am grateful for all the opportunities I have had and will continue to do my best not to disappoint them.

So good luck for the future and we look forward to seeing you in Italy, Fabian!

Thank you for the nice chat, see you soon!

You can watch Fabian Aichner in action every week at NXT, show available with commentary in Italian on DMAX and Discovery Plus. To subscribe to the platform, at an affordable price, just click here.

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