Axel Tischer proud to be NXT’s first German recruit
Despite Deutschland’s rich sports-entertainment tradition, Germany’s grappling exports to WWE have been few and far between during the modern era. New NXT recruit Axel Tischer hopes to change that.
After tearing up the independent wrestling scene in Germany for years, Tischer left Dresden earlier this month to come to Orlando, Fla., to join 10 other new signees at the WWE Performance Center. Kinetic, crisp as a Kölsch, and boasting an array of suplexes that’d make Tazz proud, Tischer is ready to bring his brand of combat to NXT and WWE.
WWE.COM: First of all, welcome to WWE.
AXEL TISCHER: Thank you very much.
WWE.COM: There haven’t been many German Superstars in recent history. You are a known entity in the German indie scene. What is your feeling about representing Germany or the German wrestling style?
TISCHER: I’m really honored and proud to be the first German guy in WWE to get the chance of a lifetime, to prove myself as an entertainer here, first in NXT as an NXT Superstar. I’m really thankful for this and I will do my best, and I think the guys who know me from Germany know that I’ll do my best to entertain people.
WWE.COM: When and where did you decide to start wrestling? Can you tell us who your trainer or trainers where?
TISCHER: I started in 2000 at the age of 13. I was wrestling and then I decided to go to a wrestling club in Dresden. It was nothing professional but it was basic training, knowing how to fall, how to lift. Then in 2006, I decided to go to Berlin to get trained professional by GWF, the German Wrestling Federation. The trainers taught me a lot about the ring stuff. I spent three, four, five years in that school training and then I decided to move back to Dresden to open up my own wrestling club and teach some guys wrestling.
WWE.COM: What inspired you to choose an in-ring career?
TISCHER: I love wrestling, and I’ve loved it since I was 6 years old. I first watched WrestleMania IX at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas and at that time I just decided to be a pro wrestling entertainer. It’s a passion. You live the lifestyle of a Superstar, you live the lifestyle of an entertainer.
WWE.COM: Who inspired you most in the WWE history?
TISCHER: One of my favorite all-time wrestling heroes was “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, and my role model always is Brock Lesnar. It’s great to see somebody who works hard enough to get in touch with something and has become gold. He went over to Japan and won a championship, he came back to WWE to be champion again, and he’s a former UFC Champion. What he does and his passion are really just impressive.
WWE.COM: How would you describe your in-ring style?
TISCHER: In my independent wrestling career, I loved to go strike a lot and to wrestle a lot because I also trained in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and amateur wrestling. So I just decided to do my style, like a bit more of the sport, to do a lot of suplexes and kicks and strikes. It’s all in one, but with the entertainment, too. It’s an all-around style. No matter whose standing in front of me I’m ready for them.
WWE.COM: What have been the biggest accolades or achievements throughout your career, to date?
TISCHER: That would be winning the Unified World Championship, which I won in [Germany’s] Westside Xtreme Wrestling in 2012. That was the biggest title in my career so far.
WWE.COM: Can you tell in which other places or countries you've performed?
TISCHER: All over Germany. I’ve wrestled from 2007 to 2009 in France. In March, I was in England for the first time for a promotion there. I’ve been to Japan a few times for some tours, as well as Switzerland and Denmark a few times.
WWE.COM: What challenges have you already identified for yourself before getting to WWE? On what do you think you need to work on to stand out?
TISCHER: It’s a great chance to go to the Performance Center because it’s so huge and so big. There are 26,000 square feet, seven training rings, strength and conditioning programs, a cutting-edge edit room. It’s the best place to be as entertainers to get really in shape. The Performance Center presents a guaranteed future success for us. I must get in shape right now because I’m not a typical bodybuilder or just a muscle guy. I think I need to work on this a lot and also just roll in the ring. When you practice a lot in the ring, and we have great trainers here, we become better as athletes, and we become better and better entertainers. Most important for me is the promo class with “The American Dream” Dusty Rhodes, because he knows everything about entertaining, and this is one of my goals I’d like to reach.
WWE.COM: Who do you want to wrestle in either NXT or WWE and why?
TISCHER: I’d like to wrestle them all, especially Sami Zayn. If we’re talking about WWE Superstars, I’d like to wrestle guys like Daniel Bryan because they’re really good in the ring and it will be a good match. They’re also known as indie guys, as am I.
WWE.COM: If any, what specific ritual do you have before you go into a match?
TISCHER: In the indies, I always hit the ring. I just walk around and lay back into the corners just to get in touch with the wrestling ring, because there are a lot of different wrestling rings on the indies. I have no real ritual. Just to be focused. I like to listen to metalcore bands. The band Annisokay has played my entrance music live before.
WWE.COM: What is your ultimate goal in WWE?
TISCHER: I’d like to be on the card for WrestleMania. The WWE Network has over 1 million subscribers after WrestleMania. This is amazing, and in the future I’d like to be there just standing in front of that audience and be a part of WrestleMania.
WWE.COM: What do you feel like telling the German WWE Universe?
TISCHER: I’m finally here and a real German guy is finally over here. I just work hard to make them proud over there, and I hope to see them soon.