WWE NXT Tag Team Champion Fabian Aichner of Imperium recently spoke with Alistair McGeorge of UK Metro and recalled the first time he ever tuned into a WWE show, and the exact moment he realized he wanted to become a professional wrestler.
Aichner revealed that he was channel surfing when he caught the last few minutes of the August 28, 2003 SmackDown episode, which featured The Undertaker defeating Brock Lesnar and Big Show in a Triple Threat to become the new #1 contender to then-WWE World Heavyweight Champion Kurt Angle. This was just weeks after Aichner’s 13th birthday.
“I just came across wrestling by accident,” Aichner revealed. “I was just flipping through the channels and I saw the last five minutes of a SmackDown episode. I was just like, ‘This is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen.’
“Instantly, as soon as I saw the ring and all the people around it, these big guys ? I think it was Undertaker against Brock Lesnar and Big Show in a Triple Threat Match. I was like, ‘This is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen!” I just knew instantly, that’s what I want to do with my life.”
Aichner reflected on his own career and said sometimes he can’t believe where he’s at.
“It’s absolutely surreal,” he said. “Sometimes I can’t wrap my head around it. But for me, I’m that 13-year-old kid living the dream!”
Aichner is now learning from WWE Hall of Famers Shawn Michaels and Triple H as they lead the main NXT brand here in the United States and the NXT UK brand.
“To me, it’s unbelievable. I saw SmackDown for the first time when I was 13 years old, so all those people were in their prime,” said Aichner, who started his career in Italy back in 2011. “You try to get better, you try to watch matches and see what they’re doing, the little things in the ring. And now obviously coming here, every week we’re sitting down with Shawn Michaels and he’s giving us feedback.”
He continued, “Oh man, we’re at the tip of the iceberg right now. These guys have a completely different picture of wrestling compared to us right now, but we’re like a sponge. We’re trying to soak up as much as we possibly can. For us, it’s the time of our lives right now to question those people and learn as much as we can.”