WWE SmackDown Superstar Gunther has refuted claims that WWE pressured him to lose weight ahead of his main-roster call up.
Debuting on SmackDown last month, the former NXT UK Champion was noticeably slimmer than before and is estimated to have lost 45-55 lbs.
Speaking to Sport1 in Germany, Gunther addressed the rumor that WWE had demanded he slim down, saying:
“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.”
Gunther is now teaming with Ludwig Kaiser (formerly Marcel Barthel) who was called up to SmackDown with him.