Former SAnitY member Alexander Wolfe has opened up about why he believes SAnitY’s main roster didn’t go as planned, recalling their call-up and the empty promises which followed.
Speaking with Inside The Ropes‘ Lead Writer Gary Cassidy just two days after news of his WWE exit broke, Axel Tischer – formerly Alexander Wolfe – noted the differences between NXT, and RAW and SmackDown, and said the call-up came too quickly and that they actually wanted a longer run against Undisputed ERA.
“It is what it is. It’s part of the game. So the difference between NXT and RAW & SmackDown, in my opinion, is it’s like rock ‘n’ roll and hip hop. You have a little bit of something, it’s not for everybody, and then the other thing is more mainstream. So you see, with SAnitY, it was a good act in NXT, a lot of potential and, after, we all agree on one fact that we should not get the call up that quick, we should have stayed a bit longer. We were close to having a longer program with Undisputed ERA. So that’s what we pitched in that time, but it didn’t end up that way. Would have been great because Undisputed ERA guys are awesome, all awesome.”
Tischer noted that the faction was “happy” when they got the call up, but that quickly turned sour when the news was given that Nikki Cross wouldn’t be part of the faction’s main roster run.
“In the end, we got the call up. We were happy, but I remember when… And it’s typical, they always need to have a camera somewhere when you get something told for some documentaries or something. So it was kind of like, we get told, ‘You guys get a promotion, you get called up to the main roster, but don’t call it main roster,’ or whatever. And then it’s like, ‘Yeah, but it’s just you three guys, Nikki will stay here,’ and automatically it wasn’t a feel good moment because we just grew so much together, like the four of us in SAnitY, and like it sucked in that time. So I wasn’t that happy.”
The former NXT Superstar went on to say the mindset then changed back to excitement for SAnitY as SmackDown – along with RAW – is always touted as the goal.
“But then in the end, you kind of think, ‘Yeah, let’s go to SmackDown,’ because I started in 2015 and they always try to get in your brain like, ‘Oh, that’s the goal. You have to go to the main roster and that’s when you’re into it and you travel the world,’ and blah, blah, blah. And then in the end it was kind of like, yeah, I did it and I had something accomplished what was on my bucket list and now you make a lot of money and everything.”
The former Alexander Wolfe then divulged that “empty promises” are something you have to get used to, noting that SAnitY was told Vince McMahon liked them, and that they’d feature on every house show and pay-per-view.
“But what I really learned in that year is that this wrestling business, I think especially WWE, is full of empty promises and you have to know what you’re dealing with. And in that time, we did not know. We got told, ‘Yeah, Vince likes you.’ Which could be possible, I don’t know. And, ‘Yeah, you guys are on every house show, you will be on every pay-per-view, they have big plans for you.’ In the end, it was, ‘Yeah, we have to delay your debut. And then the first debut match you lose,’ and everybody’s kind of like, ‘You guys lost? You lost your first match? Oh that’s… That’s not good.’ ‘OK, yeah. I guess. We have trust in it and they will do something with us.’ And then they repeated that and we got lost in the shuffle.”
Tischer went on to say that he doesn’t doubt that there were big plans, but those plans may have changed.
“We got lost in the water, we got dropped like a hot potato because… I don’t want to say they lied to us with having big plans with us and everything but I think they figured out maybe they didn’t like the plans after three weeks. Maybe they figured out that gimmick is not really like something for a PG product and maybe we just see what we can do. ‘If they maybe come up with something,’ which we did, ‘maybe they find like a niche where we can just use them,’ which they didn’t. But yeah, in the end, it ended had like a lot of dark matches, a lot of like negativity on our part. We tried to stay positive, but, you know, you get caught into the, ‘Yeah, no, f*** it’.”
The former SAnitY star added that he was happy when the eventual shake-up happened which sent him to NXT UK, and Imperium.
“That being said, I was very happy, I think it was in Montreal when they had the shake-up, and I got… Like WWE has this talent relationship where you get like your appointments, you have a calendar and has a red dot on it, it says you have something to do here. So I see NXT UK in Glasgow and I was asking Triple H, ‘What’s that all about?’ He said, ‘Yeah, I don’t know what they want to do with you, but I see you guys sitting around in catering, I don’t want that, you’re all talented, we want to split you guys off. Killian is going back to NXT US. I want you to go to NXT UK and get together with you guys,’ because he knew, like, the Ring Kampf stuff is real. And EY was staying there because of reasons, I don’t know. Personally, I think he wanted to stay there and then – yeah, the rest is NXT UK history.”
The former Alexander Wolfe also divulged some memories about his WWE co-workers, expressing his gratitude at working with the company and the people within.
“I have a lot of great memories, but most importantly, I have great memories about the co-workers. All the guys I had the chance to work with, learn, to know them, travel with them, sit backstage and play PlayStation, everything – just having fun around fun people. And also not only the workers, also staff members and everything, because WWE is a big family and everybody is working together. You have some good days, you have some bad days, you have times where I want to punch the wall. You have some times where I want to hurt everybody. That’s life! But that’s the most important thing. I learned so many people to know how they are or how they feel.”
Tischer paid tribute to The Usos and New Day in particular for giving himself and SAnitY a lot of opportunities while they were on SmackDown.
Some people you have seen through the telly and then you think like, ‘Oh, he’s a great guy,’ and then he’s a total asshole. Vice versa, the other guys you think, ‘Oh, he’s little bit weird’ – as it turns out, he’s one of the coolest dudes ever. So not not dropping names but for example, I adore like the guys from New Day and The Usos because we had so many house shows together and they’ve been so kind to us. We came up from NXT and they taught us a lot and they gave us a lot of like chances to work with them, and even like to do something with them without saying, ‘No, you’re green,’ or whatever. So they’ve been very open to working with us. Also, a lot of other guys, it would take too much time to name everybody, but just to have the camaraderie of the locker room and everything.”
Our full interview with Axel Tischer, formerly known as Alexander Wolfe, is available to read here – where we discussed his WWE departure, friendship with Nikki Cross, and WALTER’s insistence not to move to the United States, among other things.