Axel Tischer on how he would have booked Sanity in WWE, unfinished business with Imperium

Following his departure from WWE, where he has spent the past six years, Dresden-born Alexander Wolfe sat down with Dom to chat about what he has learnt over his expansive career as a professional wrestler, his favourite music, and what he has planned for the future upon returning to Germany. 

‘I’m super excited to come home, but I will miss a lot of things here.’

‘In Florida especially, all the buildings are pretty low, so you always have a big panoramic picture of the sky, especially when it’s dusk and dawn, a beautiful picture and piece of art… Everything is bigger in the States than in Europe! I’m so excited for me coming back home, coming back to my hometown, to my home country. Also coming back to the culture. Which from an American point of view is a bit more stiff. It’s good for my son because he can grow up seeing his grandparents. I’m looking forward to being around my best friends – I have friends here but it’s the difference of being at work with them here, versus best friends who you spend most of your private time with. And it’s a different environment. I will miss the States, but I am super happy to be coming back to my hometown!’

And for Alexander, it’s not the financial side of wrestling that motivates him:

‘The happiness in life is when you do something that makes you happy, not the amount you get paid… The money is sweet and I said in a couple of interviews before that it’s one of the sad things: I will not make as much money with doing nothing, but like you said, money’s not everything and you cannot buy happiness. It’s less stressful and sometimes you’re happier without being worried about paying bills and everything, but me for example, I’m not a material guy… I still wear shirts I had years ago, and I get nightmares thinking about shopping for stuff like this!’

‘I know that I will do fine outside of WWE. But I just imagine the entire palette of opportunities in front of me and I can travel again sooner or later when everything opens up again, I can do my own stuff, and be my own boss of my schedule, I can create something from the fundament I had before and from the stuff I had built up from the 6 years with WWE, so now it’s time to create my own future.’

The future for Alexander is looking much more social as he looks forward to more interactions with his fanbase, something that was not always a possibility with WWE.

‘It’s always necessary and also very important to connect with the audience and especially with your own fans…  I could get used to that feeling of being on a merch table trying to have a chat with everybody, everybody comes through and wants a picture, wants an autograph, maybe wants to buy a shirt or whatever… We can have an interaction, we can be humans and just talk to each other, and I’m really looking forward to having that again.’

‘I do not want to show up as Alexander Wolfe from Sanity just with a different name,’ he assured, ‘I do not want to carry on doing the Ringkampf stuff from the same standpoint, for example… I will try to find a good mix of both of them, because this is how people know me, but also because both of them are something personal for me. I also want to show a little bit more of myself.’

He also hopes to venture into other areas of entertainment:

‘I’m thinking about maybe doing something with a good friend of mine in the music business, doing something like a podcast. Just getting some other people in the mix and doing a podcast, right now just in German, because I’m probably the only guy who speaks more fluent English. But who knows! Just try to stay active, inside the wrestling world, but also outside the wrestling world.’

In terms of important lessons he’s taken from pro wrestling, Alexander feels that taking personal responsibility and working hard are paramount in succeeding. Changes in his personal life have also impacted him over recent years.

‘I think it changed with me getting older and just becoming a real man in life, becoming a father, becoming a husband and everything. And that also changed even now with going from being independent and travelling here and there, and not really being worried about the future, getting into this system of professional wrestling at its highest and being in the development process of WWE Superstar, where you had a lot of responsibilities on your own brand.’

‘What you have to know is that you have to be responsible for certain kinds of things – the way you carry yourself, the way you communicate with others, the way you present yourself, the way your attitude is… A big part for me is also trying to teach the younger generation, the next generation, is to make them aware that what you say and do matters.’

‘You can say and do what you do but you have to live with the response and backlash of that. The easiest way is to shut the fuck up and speak about what you do and that is wrestling and nothing else.’

He drives home the fact that it’s not an easy feat, and you have to work hard to achieve it:

‘You have to sacrifice a lot to do that and you have to work a lot,’ he says, ‘and even if you sacrifice a lot it doesn’t mean that it will work out eventually, but you have to still try… A lot of times it is what it is but everybody has to make the first steps, and the beginning always sucks. If you really wanna do it, get your shit together, bite your tongue, you have to be tough. Not only physically, but mentally.’

Looking back on his time in Sanity, Alexander considered what he may have done if he had creative control of that group:

‘I believe that Sanity could have been very creative, backstage wise and everything. Especially in WWE over the years we have seen all kinds of matches – like a boiler room match, and all kinds of that. So we could take the bits and pieces of that and put it in the mixer and blend it through. We’d be the guys who would like, start a riot and everything. And then we’d mix with some other talents who we were feuding with, and then have this back and forth. We had an idea for internet stuff, so we had the idea to go on Twitter and ask people like, who do you guys want to see get messed up or fucked up by Sanity? But with all that creative stuff in the past, we could have used that to elevate the whole character of who we are and what we do.’ 

Alexander was also part of the wrestling outfit Imperium, whom he speaks highly of.

‘Walter, Fabian and Marcel are top notch athletes and superstars. I think improving the group is not necessary because we’ve all just been four unique athletes who just believed in the same things, which means protect the wrestling business, keep it clean from all the clowns who aren’t taking it seriously, etc. Unfinished business yeah, for sure. Imperium is not something I’ve had the chance to be part of again. That’s something that could be open for business again, who knows? Maybe in the future, but it depends. But I wouldn’t change anything in Imperium. I hope all three guys peak if they haven’t peaked right now. Hopefully their success will go through the roof.’

In terms of music, Alexander believes that wrestling and the music scene go hand in hand (‘Wrestling and music! I always call it in English, Vitamin C for Connection’), and recalls an experience he had at Download Festival involving Every Time I Die. 

‘Every Time I Die played on the day we had some practice to entertain people at Download with professional wrestling, and Andy, he’s now an AW talent, but before that he was semi-professional wrestler, but full-time musician. And he always popped in for wrestling shows, and I never met him but just heard about him. I never saw them live, just on tape. I knew when they had finished with the concert, ten minutes later the show would start. So I put my Sanity wrestling gear on, left the boots off, put some sneakers on and just basically went in with my wrestling gear and just went into the pit, moshed, and went over to the tent and put my boots on and went out and wrestled the match. That was a good experience, but the good part is that since then Andy and I just became a bit closer because he was just playing and just recognised, who’s that guy? And it’s me!’

Hardcore music is Alexander’s genre of choice; his first experience of it was seeing Hatebreed on their tour with Slipknot back in the early ‘00s. He enjoys the sense of community felt when people join together in the audience and the mosh pit:

‘I was a very big Slipknot fan because I love the entertainment part of Slipknot, also the music, but that was kind of the float over from metal. There was a Slipknot concert in my hometown. And Dresden in Germany is not such a big town as Berlin, for example, so it’s very rare for someone like Slipknot would come through and play. The opening band was Hatebreed and they toured. Eastern Germany is very big on hardcore stuff and violent dancing, so when you go in there, you’ll come out with a bloody nose, for sure.’

‘Music and the combination of it with this art of dancing… it’s not meant to hit somebody, it’s not meant to knock somebody out, even though it happens sometimes. What a lot of people don’t see is when they do a circle pit or whatever, one guy falls down, the other guys that make the circle just pick him right back up, and a lot of bands stop playing and say pick him up, then continue… A lot of people, they get their frustration out and they go to the pit and leave all the aggression out without intentionally hurting somebody. You have fun with it.’

Importantly, what is something that Alexander wants to say to his fans?

‘Keep it easy, stay positive, live your own life, don’t let people dictate what you do, what you love, what you feel. Everything that goes through the media nowadays is absolutely shit, it makes life miserable, so when you wanna be happy, switch off the TV and switch off the phone, enjoy real life and come to shows!’

‘I have some merch shops up in Germany, so you can find me there. Also there are links in my social media profiles, so you can send me a message there. I have also linked an email for booking enquiries – if you are a promoter and you want to book me for a show or you want to book me for a wrestling seminar for your school or something else, you can get in contact with me and we can discuss more details. Otherwise, again, yeah, stay positive and believe in yourself and don’t hesitate to work hard for your goals, because I will work hard for my goals.’

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