GUNTHER’s awe-inspiring run in NXT UK made history in the modern WWE era, as he became the longest-reigning champion by holding the NXT UK Title for a record-breaking 870 days. Now a constant fixture on Friday Night Smackdown, fans continue to adore GUNTHER and look forward to seeing him in action. Due to his Austrian heritage, some unfortunate stereotypes about his character were raised in the past. Now it seems GUNTHER has decided to address those stereotypes.

The Ring General won the WWE Intercontinental Championship in June 2022 and has since defended it seven times. His reign is already one is the best in the company’s history.

It’s worth noting that GUNTHER’s name almost bore resemblance to that of a Nazi submarine commander, Gunther Stark. Additionally, his initial rating of 88 in WWE 2K23 raised concerns due to its connection to fascist ideologies. However, the WWE Intercontinental Championship recognized the issue and adjusted his rating to 89. This decision has been welcomed by many fans.

While speaking on the recent The Ringer’s Cheap Heat podcast, GUNTHER addressed the stigma of fascism as an Austrian who was based in Germany.


Obviously, like you mention it, that’s the history of the two countries. That’s something we can never change. We have to live with it. But obviously, that’s something that got thrown at us before and still gets thrown at us.

We don’t really acknowledge it because it’s so far away from what the truth is, and often, I also blame it on people … see[ing] the first, obvious thing and jump[ing] on it.

It doesn’t represent the culture in our countries, either. Austria and Germany have made huge efforts to be hard on themselves when it comes to their history and keep themselves in check.”

It’s something I think everyone from there, and when I talk with [Ludwig] Kaiser that’s one of the things we’re most proud about when it comes to our cultures.

There’s no nice talking about stuff like that, and people who try? They get run over right away. There’s no way to justify any of that. I think we shouldn’t mix up ideologies and stylistics if that makes sense. Everything we want to be is far away from that.”

It remains to be seen who will face off against GUNTHER at the Show of Shows, but fans are eagerly anticipating his WrestleMania 39 match.

GUNTHER has become a beloved fixture on WWE Friday Night SmackDown, and his record-breaking reign as Intercontinental Champion has solidified his status as one of the company’s top stars.

Unfortunately, some unfortunate stereotypes have been raised due to his Austrian heritage, with concerns about his name and initial rating in WWE 2K23. However, GUNTHER has addressed these issues head-on, emphasizing that fascism does not represent the cultures of Austria and Germany. Fans are eagerly anticipating GUNTHER’s WrestleMania 39 match, and his continued success in WWE.

Subhojeet Mukherjee

Subhojeet, a professional wrestling fan for over 20+ years, found his passion during the Monday Night Wars. With expertise honed over decades and a broad spectrum of interests including TV, movies, anime, novels, and music, he offers insightful analysis and coverage. Respected in the industry, Subhojeet keeps fans informed and engaged with his knowledge and perspective.

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