By Jason Powell, ProWrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
On signing with NXT: “I got a message from a former coworker from WXW. His name was Sebastian Sage, but his real name is Sebastian Hacker. They wanted to bring in the first big international group for NXT and they’ve been looking for German talents. In that time, I was not really interested in because I was not a WWE fan that time. I was kind of like, yes, cool WWE, awesome major league and great experience. I do not think they will sign me, but, hey, there’s nothing to lose. There’s more to gain for sure. And I hear you get paid for the tryout. So, hey, why not? But even, like, if I never would get signed, let’s make sure I give them my best. And then I got the invitation, and he (Canyon Ceman) got into contact with me, and I talked with him a lot during the tryout. So I had a very good working relationship with him. He was an awesome guy to be around with, a very straight and honest guy, which I appreciate.”
On the formation of Sanity: “The good thing with Sanity was it was for me the time just to get out of my shell and just to became more the entertainer than the wrestler. And then it turned out to be a good act. And they saw, okay, it’s working, getting reports being really good, and we kind of click good together. We get along really good. Then they introduced us to Eric Young, and then we got the idea from William Regal. He told us that Triple H has the idea that he wanted to have a group like the guys from Smokin’ Aces, being very chaotic, headman’s mercenary kind of style, total lunatics. And then before we debuted, they put Nikki Cross with us together as well. But we’ve just been touring with Nikki. Nikki was even before Sanity one of our best friends. So in the end, it came all together. Went great.”
Sanity being better in NXT than on the WWE main roster: “Two different products. And that was like a WWE thing. You had like the main roster stuff, which was a little bit more mainstream pop culture-ish. And then you had NXT, which was a little bit more hardcore rock-ish. So even guys who would not watch Raw and Smackdown because it’s too much sports entertainment BS, I want to see some professional wrestling. They still would watch NXT because it was more edgy. Sanity, for example. There’s so many ideas for Sanity and some of the ideas we could do even with the burning trash can and stuff like this. They gave us such great setups for promos and everything and what we could do, like trashing things or whatever. Not to the extent as we want it to be, because I guess that was a little bit too expensive. But in the end we had a little bit more creative freedom and they’ve been up for that up there.”
On Imperium: “What Imperium talks about is the way we kind of like, see wrestling, but more in a less characteristic, healing way. So we think you should respect the sport of professional wrestling, especially the history. You should respect the honor of the sport that people busting their asses and just to make a living and also just provide a show for the people and that the generation after can follow in their footsteps and also have a good living. And also you should treat the business such as you’re home grown. We always had fun and we always welcomed everybody.”
On his WWE release: “I had a chance to live in a life which was crazy because a lot of times, and especially nowadays, you miss a lot of things you do not have anymore. For example, a lot of times I wasn’t aware that I have the opportunity to live in Florida. So I would be more enjoying Florida life right now because I don’t have it anymore. But also there are some other things like working wise, which I kind of miss in that WWE, you have a sweet life because you do not have to think about anything at all, especially when it comes to organizing stuff. WWE is such a great company. They take care of you in so many parts and you do not even know it. So a lot of times right now, back on the English circuit, I have to take care of my own merch. I have to take care sometimes of my travel. I have to take care of my food and everything. So WWE, especially NXT, they took care of you in a really good way. But I also like the most valuable thing from WWE was all the knowledge from the greats. So I had a chance just to have entire list of great coaches over the time. I learned in the performance center from day one to day here.”
Other topics include his breaking into the business, Vince McMahon, his WWE run, his NXT run, Triple H, Imperium, Sanity, his WWE release, the German wrestling scene, wrestling in Europe, the Independent scene, and more.