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Gunther on the Intercontinental title: “I want to take this title and make it the biggest prize to win”
Slam summer marked something of a rebirth for WWE.
While Vince McMahon likely remains heavily involved in certain areas of the business, the one publicly responsible for creating WWE is now Paul “Triple H” Levesque. It was apparent at Slam summerand another two nights later Raw, in particular by the presentation of women’s wrestling, and by a renewed interest in Ciampa. It’s also great news for one of WWE’s most impressive emerging stars, reigning Intercontinental Champion Gunther.
If you temporarily lost sight of the IC belt, it was by design. The title was not defended at Wrestle Mania 38, and it didn’t matter all year. Since Gunther defeated Ricochet in June to become champion, he hasn’t been introduced to either. Money in the bank Where Slam summer. But there is real potential with Gunther as a champion and Lévesque as a creative. Levesque oversaw his push as NXT UK Champion, a 685-day title reign that elevated Gunther’s (then known as Walter) status in WWE.
Through a violent and believable approach to professional wrestling, Gunther plans to bring meaning back to a championship once known as the stepping stone to the WWE Title.
“I want to take this title and make it the biggest prize to conquer,” says Gunther, who is Austrian-born Walter Hahn. “That’s the approach I took with the NXT UK Championship. The champion makes the title. That’s what I plan to do here.
Gunther is in the early stages of a feud with Shinsuke Nakamura, which is a good way to start his run as champion. He looks different from most of his peers in the whole company. Billed at 6’4″, he has legit height, further enhancing his punishing style in the ring.
“It’s not about entertaining everyone,” says Gunther. “I want to be efficient and I want to be efficient. This is my main objective.
While he looks like Walter, the man who currently plays Gunther has completely redefined his image. He has slimmed down and now features one of the sharpest physiques in the industry.
It’s a little shocking to see side-by-side visuals comparing Walter and Gunther. While he’s incredibly proud of his success across Europe, NXT, and the American Indies as Walter, he’s ready to break new ground as Gunther.
“I was a huge fan of the look I had,” says Gunther. “I liked foreign heavyweights going to Japan and beating babyfaces. And I was successful. But if I stagnate, I’m going to fall behind. I always want to be one step ahead. Nobody tells me never said to lose weight. I knew the transition to the main roster was happening, so I wanted to transform into something new.
“When we moved to Orlando, Marcel [Ludwig Kaiser] and Fabian [Aichner] were very supportive. They are both in great shape and we have created a motivating and productive environment.
The weight loss hasn’t made Gunther any less scary. He noted that he was still around 250 pounds, but now with increased muscle definition.
“I see the pictures of the comparisons, and I’m proud of it, but I’m still me,” says Gunther. “I’ve never had any cardio issues before. I’ve always felt very comfortable, so it doesn’t feel that drastic to me. Maybe it does when you look at pictures.
Another significant change was the transition of his real name from Walter to Gunther. He also handled this with ease, anticipating the differences in presentation leaving Europe and committing himself fully to WWE.
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“Living in America was never something I pursued,” says Gunther. “I really like the way of life in Europe. But in the back of my mind, I knew it was time to move on to take the next big step in wrestling. To do this, you have to be in the United States, and the time had come for me over the past year.
“So switching from Walter to Gunther is part of the process in this business. Look at the wrestlers who have risen to the top, almost all of them have undergone changes. I’m confident in what I’m doing in the ring, and kind of expected the name change. There is no reason to fuss. Gunther gives the same vibes as Walter. When I step into the ring, there is a certain vibe. That’s what I represent. It’s always me.
The Intercontinental title has lost some of its luster in WWE. Still, the defending champion believes that is destined to change as long as he holds the belt.
“I’m going to give this title the prestige it needs and make it the biggest prize in wrestling,” Gunther said. “I would love to fight John Cena and anybody else who is considered elite. I didn’t come here to be mediocre. I came here to be in the ring with the best.
“I’m just getting started. I am very excited for this trip.
The (online) week of wrestling
- Brock Lesnar’s display at SummerSlam was spectacular. Everyone involved in the Last Man Standing match is to be commended, but Lesnar took an iteration of a match we’ve seen many times and made it unforgettable.
- In addition to highlighting Tommaso Ciampa as an in-ring performer, Raw’s presentation was noticeably different in the way it featured interviews, behind-the-scenes segments (including one with The Usos), a match, and a brawl that included Bayley’s new dominant faction. , Io Sky and Dakota Kai.
- Becky Lynch’s shoulder injury will halt her momentum, but she still cut a stellar promo on Raw.
- The standout match on Ric Flair’s Last Match card was the four-man lucha libre match. Here is a great photo with some of its stars.
- Would love to see PAC run at the AEW title.
- Japanese women’s promotion Stardom presents a new title, which will hopefully lead to some great matches in the United States.
Scenic City Invitational set will bring excitement to India
Scenic City Pro Wrestling hosts its annual Scenic City Invitational on Friday and Saturday, marking an opportunity to see the industry’s top independent stars.
The Tennessee-based event, which will air live on IWTV, is a tournament that features old-school in-ring psychology with exceptional masters of the craft. This year’s field of 16 includes Myron Reed, Jaden Newman and Dominic Garrini.
“People will see incredibly talented and driven wrestlers from different backgrounds, regions, styles and levels of experience,” said Scenic City promoter Scott Hensley, who made the decision this year to also include women in the roster. tournament. “We always want to feature some of the best wrestlers in the world and to do that we felt we had to include people like Trish Adora, Masha Slamovich and Billie Starkz – they all meet that distinction of really being among the best wrestlers in the world. world.
In addition to the two-night invite, Scenic City has added two more shows to the summer festivities. It starts with The night before Thursday, then the Futures Showcase on Saturday, and both will air on IWTV.
“The TWE [Chattanooga]: The night before and the Action Futures Showcase Tournament events are additional opportunities for us to partner with the local scene and showcase new wrestlers who we believe are the future of Scenic City and beyond,” Hensley said. “The Futures Showcase tournament has nine competitors each year, and eight of the first 27 professional contracts signed with larger promotions, so we’re thrilled with the platform it has become.”
Now in its seventh year, Hensley is grateful that the annual SCI tournament has become a showcase for talent eager to make a name for itself.
“Our tournament is meaningful because it provides a platform for independent wrestlers to be seen while raising money for good local causes,” Hensley said. “We’ve had fans from the UK, Australia, Canada and Mexico to see our shows, and we have global audiences through IWTV, as well as alumni from all major wrestling companies. Guys thanked me for changing their lives in terms of a wrestling career, and we also raised tens of thousands of dollars for local schools. As a kid who grew up booking GI Joe [action figures] fighting is a dream come true.
“It’s become a family destination wrestling event seen by people all over the world where you can just see the next big star before they hit it big.”
Tweet of the week
Congratulations to Ric Flair on his final game, and it was perfect to have Tony Schiavone, who was great on the show, by his side.
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