Gunther has opened up about his impressive weight-loss, and the reasons behind the impressive transformation.
Over the course of the last year, Gunther has undergone quite the physical transformation. The Austrian star has lost a significant amount of weight and is now noticeably more muscular than he has been at any other point in his career.
The weight-loss also coincided with the star moving from NXT UK to NXT and then to the main roster. This led to speculation that WWE were actually behind the reinvention, pressuring the former United Kingdom Champion to lose weight before he would be used on the main roster.
However, speaking to Sport1 in Germany, Gunther revealed that the change was his idea. He explained that while his previous physique had served him well earlier in his career, now he was in front of a mainstream audience it was time for a change.
“It was completely my own initiative. For me, it was quite clear — if I want to take the next big step, I have to present more for the general public. Personally, I’ve always been a big fan of old-school Japanese wrestlers who still had a belly and looked like you’d imagine a butcher. Emulating such idols worked for me also because up to now, I’ve been there for the, let’s call it, hardcore wrestling audience.
“In the WWE main roster, however, the conditions are different,” Gunther continued. “You are on a global stage, in the mainstream. From my point of view, you have to present yourself differently. And I prepared well for that in the months leading up to my move to the USA. […] Honestly, no one can tell me that anyone who happens to turn on the TV wouldn’t think I was better and more believable the way I looked before than I do now.”
Since arriving on Friday Night SmackDown on April 8th, Gunther has emerged victorious in both of his matches to date.