After being “released” from his WWE contract earlier this week, Alexander Wolfe has opened up about the circumstances regarding his WWE departure, and how he didn’t know it was coming even while performing at NXT the night before.
Speaking with Inside The Ropes‘ Lead Writer Gary Cassidy just two days after news of his WWE exit broke, Axel Tischer – formerly Alexander Wolfe – has opened up about the circumstances that led to him leaving WWE.
Wolfe performed on NXT less than 24 hours before his departure hit the headlines, but did he know it was coming the evening before?
“No, nothing at all. After it happened, it kind of made sense what happened two weeks before. Not storyline-wise, more like backstage-wise. But it was weird. Like, first off, that was one of the most things that stung me, what really sucked was the way it was. I mean, it’s a send off and of course it has to happen somehow but, for me, I get the whole point how they did it and it’s better that then just disappear without explanation.”
Tischer confirmed that he was not “released” per se, and that his contract ends on June 15th. He was told he will not be used on WWE television again before his contract expires, thus the situation is similar to that of a 30-day non-compete.
“WWE didn’t release me but it was not my choice. It wasn’t my choice. If I had the choice, I probably would stay with WWE because it’s the biggest company and again, it’s very comfortable to work for them because you make a lot of money with doing nothing. I still went to the Performance Center and used the facility as a tool for life for my own, like, brand. But yeah, WWE told me, “Hey, we will not release you but your contract is up on June 15th, so we will let you run out the contract and then, on June 16th, you’re off to go,” which I really appreciate because I kind of got the 30 day complete a no compete clause, but not really. So they give me the heads up four weeks ahead.”
The soon-to-be former NXT star spoke of his gratitude at getting to have his final match in WWE against former SAnitY comrade Killian Dain, and be attacked by his former Imperium faction-mates Marchel Barthel and Fabian Aichner.
“I’m happy that I could do it with my best friends. So I had to match against Killian Dain and we get the send-off from two of my mates, which I’m very good and very like… It’s two of my friends. They could give me their farewell and I’m happy for them that they had the chance like to give me that. But on the other side, it was very weird. So now I hear like a lot of reports, it should have happened three weeks ago and it explains a lot of things why they kind of like stalled the storyline, because usually they plan the match and then Triple H is like, ‘Let’s do another angle. Let’s go with it next week.'”
The former SAnitY member spoke of a disconnect between creative and performer in NXT, saying talent doesn’t get much warning about their involvement in storylines – particularly now with a positive COVID test having the ability to throw a spanner in the works at any given time.
“In general, they do not give you a lot of heads up with creative – just speaking with NXT, I don’t know how it is right now up there with RAW and SmackDown – but they don’t give you a lot of heads up, because with on everything, one guy gets tested positive and the entire storyline has to get postponed in the future. But with me was the thing I tried to get a hold of Triple H or even Shawn Michaels, and both those guys are very busy men. Shawn is very busy. Triple H is more busy with his position, and everything. So I kind of like told myself, yeah, if they don’t have the time, no need to rush because my plan was originally… I want to move back to Germany anyway because I have a two year old kid and I want him to grow up with his grandparents – and they don’t get younger.”
The 34-year-old mentioned being stuck in Germany during the pandemic, and working in NXT UK as a result, but said he didn’t really want to stay in the United States and had planned to ask Triple H and Shawn Michaels about a move back to Germany.
“Because of what happened with the pandemic, I was stuck for a couple of times in Germany, so I had the chance to anyway work in NXT UK. So it’s an easier travel for me and also I’m back in Germany. I wasn’t that keen to stay in the States. So I tried to chat with those guys and talk with them. ‘Hey, is there a possibility…?’ But it never came to that. And for me also was the big question, ‘Am I stayed with Imperium or you want to do Sanity 2.0?’ And I never had the chance to talk with them.”
The former Alexander Wolfe added that he tried on a couple of occasions to get an answer, but didn’t succeed.
“I tried it a couple of times, but it was like, ‘Yeah, we’ll go back and get back to you.’ No message or answer. And again, both were very busy. So I’m not wanting to say they tried to dodge me, but it’s kind of like after thinking it’s… Yeah, you probably don’t want to talk to a guy you plan to release because he did not, in your opinion, evolve as much as we keep the investment – and that’s a part of the business.”
Tischer added that he looked within to see why that evolution didn’t happen to the standard required, humbly saying he didn’t want the “weakness” of blaming others.
“I’m totally fine with that because I learned in those six years to understand this. But it’s more like the pride of me as a professional wrestler that I know I’m very good at what I’m doing. I’m probably not the biggest, the strongest. I’m not in the best shape I could be. I understand that. And that’s also the first thing I do. I just touch my own nose and ask myself what I have to do better to keep the job and not blaming others because that’s weak.”
The German star added that the one annoyance surrounding his departure was that he proved he could do anything asked of him – but that people get hired in their rawest form, but said he is excited for the future.
“I feel like I could do everything what they want from me. I did everything what they want for me in six years, I could be a clown, I could be serious. I can do almost everything in the ring, what they want from me. And I’m very grateful for the six years because I learned a lot. But on the other hand, it’s kind of… You guys hire people that are not able to take a single bump. They are not able to run the roads. You have to teach them everything and they get hired by WWE and you fire me? So that was the point where I even told the guy who gave me the bad message, that’s the only thing that really pissed me off. But in the end, it is what it is. And, you know, now I have to chance to find something else that makes me more satisfied. It’s probably not as easy as getting paid that much money by sitting at home or doing nothing or eating catering but in the end, it’s now just, you know, I have to hustle. I have to see what I can do. I have to see, you know, who wants somebody on the show who can deliver.”
Our full interview with Axel Tischer, formerly known as Alexander Wolfe, can be read here – where we discussed SAnitY’s run on SmackDown and why it didn’t go as planned, Axel’s friendships with Nikki Cross, and WALTER’s insistence not to move to the United States, among other things.