WWE Intercontinental Champion Gunther was recently interviewed by the Dallas Morning News where he discussed a number of topics. Among them were the rumors of WWE’s upcoming sale, his relationship with Stephanie McMahon, thoughts on the Royal Rumble, and more.
Below are some highlights from the interview:
On the refuted reports on social media that WWE was being sold to Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, and his reaction to the news…
Gunther: “I mean, rumors are rumors. And at the end of the day, I’m not the CEO. I’m a wrestler. So, I focus on what I do in the ring and leave the business to the people that do business.”
Also on the business side, Stephanie McMahon just left the company, what was your relationship with her?
Gunther: “To be fair, I only had very brief interactions with her. She’s always been very nice and very lovely. And yeah, I’m happy for her that she’s going to be able now to take time off and enjoy time with her family. And yeah, I think you should be happy for anyone who’s in a position to do that. All the best to her.”
All right, got that out of the way. We’re here for the Royal Rumble. … What does that event mean to you? It’s right in front of you. And you have the chance, whether it’s defending the Intercontinental title or getting to compete in the Royal Rumble yourself or maybe getting the chance to do both, what does the road look like for you the next couple of weeks?
Gunther: “It’s around the corner. Basically, I’m focused on Friday, defending my title against Braun Strowman on SmackDown. That’s a big challenge. That’s what I’m focused on right now. The Royal Rumble, in general, to have the chance to participate in the Royal Rumble would be exciting. Obviously. When you grow up, when you’re my age (35), that’s one of the most exciting pay-per-views you were watching. It’s one of the most iconic PLEs (premium live events) the WWE has at the moment. So, it will be very exciting to be part of that.”
When you have matches, like with the Clash at the Castle match with Sheamus, or any of your NXT title matches with Ilja Dragunov, what does it feel like waking up mentally and physically the next day?
Gunther: “Obviously, it’s physically very demanding. Our sport in general is very physically demanding. And, yeah, the matches you named, those are the matches where you put in the extra work, where you have to walk an extra mile compared to most of the other matches you have. So you’ll definitely feel that, but that’s nothing to complain about. It’s the profession I chose and that’s part of it.
And then on Friday you’ve got another opportunity to put your heart and soul in the ring against Braun Strowman. What are you anticipating the mental and physical toll Friday might take?
Gunther: “So, that’s gonna be interesting, to be fair, because that’s a completely new challenge for me. I’m used to 99.9% of all the matches I’ve had in my career, I was the bigger guy or I wrestled someone that was, like, evenly sized. In this case, I’ll wrestle someone who’s physically strong and, obviously, heavier and bigger. So, that’s a completely new challenge for me, but I’m excited for it. It’s a new chance for me to prove that I fit in every situation, in every constellation, I can put on an exciting match for the audience. So, I’m looking forward to it. I think Braun is an excellent talent. For his size and his weight, he moves very well. He’s very agile. So, I’m excited for that. Looking forward to it.”
They also discuss when he was going to be called to the main roster, a potential for WWE Trios titles, and more.
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