Axel Tischer is at home – in life and in wrestling.

Talk about a boost for his own sanity.

Tischer had a good run in WWE as Alexander Wolfe with the SAnitY and Imperium factions, but The Axeman is back.

“Being back in Germany is amazing. So far, so good. I cannot complain at all. The thing about it, it’s always great to come home after a long journey and be back in your home country,” Tischer told Slam

“Especially to get the cheers and the boos and everything from the people in Germany, just being excited to see me and come to shows to see me and having the chance to connect with them more than when I was with WWE because you’re more protected. I have the chance to speak with them at the merchandise table. I’m very fortunate, I’m very grateful for that. I’m super excited about what the next year will bring.”

Tischer has mixed feelings on his run with SAnitY. The faction remains dear to him with fond memories, but its demise also was responsible for a challenging period in his life. He lost his passion.

Imperium with WALTER, Marcel Barcel and Fabian Aichner (now Gunther, Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci, respectively, on the main roster) reinvigorated his love for professional wrestling.

Tischer had already built a strong reputation for himself prior to his WWE signing, especially with Germany’s wXw (Westside Xtreme Wrestling). He’s certainly grateful for the six years in WWE, which boosted that reputation on a worldwide level.

He’s loving wrestling at home in Germany and other parts of Europe, but still relishes the opportunity for international travel and competition as well.

Tischer is coming to Ontario for three straight days of events, including Friday, Nov. 18 in Niagara Falls for CWF Canada ( as well as Saturday, Nov. 19 in Toronto and Sunday, Nov. 20 in London for Smash Wrestling ( He’ll square off against CWF Heavyweight Champion Jesse Bieber at Our Lady of Scapular Parish Hall in Niagara Falls for CWF X WXW, then for the Smash X WXW cards he’ll face Jake Something at The Rec Room in Toronto and Vaughn Vertigo at the London Music Hall. All three events will be filmed for WWE Network.

“I’m super thrilled. I love wrestling in Canada. I had a few tours there,” Tischer said, recalling Montreal being the site of the WWE Superstar Shake-up in April 2019 that split up SAnitY and also going to NXT tapings in Ottawa.

“I remember a lot of snow,” he said. “I love Canada, I love the people there. I love the atmosphere. I love to travel and I love to wrestle international. I love to mix it up with some newer talents. I’m super pumped for Mr. Vaughn, especially after his sweet promo (Twitter @VaughnVertigo). When he wants to mess with me, he gets hurt for sure.”

Tischer just loves to wrestle. He celebrated his 36th birthday Nov. 5 by wrestling. He’s got upcoming matches against Cara Noir, Bobby Gunn and will even have a mini SAnitY reunion teaming with Big Damo (Killian Dain) at a Progress show later this month in London, England.

His love for wrestling began at a young age and he began training at 13.

“I remember seeing my first wrestling show in ’93. My parents watched it and I watched it with them and was fascinated right away because I’m a huge fan of comics, especially back then, and larger than life superstars,” Tischer said, adding his early favorites were Bret Hart, Hulk Hogan and The Undertaker.

“WrestleMania IX at Caesars Palace, that was the first show I remember. Hogan was the superhero for everybody, but I was more fascinated with the Undertaker because of the mysterious stuff. Remember the match against Giant Gonzalez with the chloroform tissue in his mouth? Bret Hart was one of my favorites because he was legit. Everything, still, when you watch matches, you learn so much from it.”

By the time he started training, Tischer was inspired by the likes of Steve Austin and The Rock, but as time went on he began gravitating to more independent wrestling and also enjoyed Ring of Honor and TNA/Impact Wrestling. He felt a stronger connection to wrestlers in those companies.

After wrestling extensively on the independent scene in Germany and Europe, Tischer went on to enjoy long title reigns with wXw. In 2012, he defeated El Generico (Sami Zayn) to win the wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship and held the title for nearly a year before losing to Tommy End (Aleister/Malakai Black).

He also fondly remembers opponents such as Bryan Danielson, Davey Richards, Eddie Edwards, Chris Hero (former WWE Kassius Ohno), Zack Sabre Jr. and WALTER.
“Chris Hero had a big influence on wXw as well as the European market in general because he passed on so much knowledge (through) seminars and everything,” Tischer said.

“WALTER was one of the reasons why I got my exposure in wXw because he was the champion at that time and was pitching working with me because he saw that I’m passionate and take it serious enough,” he added. “I owe him credit for that, for sure.”

Tischer said some companies brought in more established stars as “fly-ins” but made them champions and they often demanded a huge pay increase to return to defend those championships. He said wXw used established wrestlers to help elevate the homegrown talent.

“It was an amazing time to build up a repertoire and good matches,” he remarked. “Still to this day, if I watch some of the matches back, it’s not so much cringe. It’s still good quality wrestling when you watch it, with the atmosphere and everything. I’m very proud of the past.”

WWE was never his goal or focus. In fact, the more he wrestled, the less interested he became in the top company in the world. He enjoyed independent wrestling and started looking at Japan as a great opportunity as well. He found great chemistry with Japanese wrestlers with more focus on in-ring work and less talking.

“I was always keen on just putting out the best wrestling match and represent the sport,” Tischer said.

Tischer, though, was encouraged to try out for WWE in London in May of 2014. He knew his strengths were in the ring, but promos were a challenge. That was certain the case at the tryout.

“I’m a big believer that you should know your strengths and your weaknesses,” he said. “I remember after the in-ring session we got promo sessions. I had to go into a dark room and there was this red light on me. I heard the people in charge standing behind, but I couldn’t see anybody. I was preparing for stupid, standard stuff like, ‘I’m the best wrestler so buckle up because here comes the rollercoaster,’ like the ABC of generic promos. I remember [William] Regal at the time was like, ‘Okay do you have something else?’ I’m kind of like oh man, oh man.”

It was suggested he speak in German and say something about himself. He did that, saying he wasn’t comfortable with promos and didn’t feel comfortable in the room because he couldn’t see anyone.

“I love to look people in the eye.”

He wasn’t signed at that time, but did get a call a few months later with the offer of an NXT contract.

The SAnitY stable, led by Canada’s Eric Young, made its debut in October of 2016. Young and Wolfe won the tag team championship at NXT Takeover: Brooklyn III, defeating Authors of Pain in August 2017.

Alexander Wolfe and Eric Young as NXT tag team champions at a show in Toronto on September 9, 2017. Photo by Joe Hrycych,

“SAnitY is very dear to me. Still to this day, I love to think about it, have flashbacks when I hear the music and everything,” he said, thinking about the stint with Young, Killian Dain and Nikki Cross.

“SAnitY is the thing what got me into WWE television, what made me a better performer because I had to change, I had to become that character.”

As part of the 2018 WWE Superstar Shake-up, SAnitY was called up to Smackdown in April of that year, which in hindsight Tischer realizes was to the detriment of the group. Perhaps not surprising once it was no longer under the direction of “Triple H” Paul Levesque.

“He was very keen on having that act and he chose the different parts of it and he was very protective. That’s why it worked out on NXT. We got the TV time and they put thoughts behind it because Hunter wanted it,” Tischer said. “Smackdown, different story, because Hunter is not there, he’s not in charge of it. It’s Vince [McMahon] and he was the one who probably liked it, but then he didn’t like it anymore so I guess that’s why it was not a thing anymore and after awhile it was just dead in the water.”

It also didn’t help that Tischer, as Wolfe, along with Young and Dain were on their without a key member of their group in Cross, who remained in NXT. She was also the longtime girlfriend of Dain and the two are now married.

“Nikki was such an important part and it was not that she was just a valet or manager, she was the foundation. Three guys, one girl and she was the most dangerous of all of us. She was uncontrollable,” Tischer said. “That was the first thing that sucked and it us hard. In the end, she got the most out of it because the time she was still in NXT was the time we should have still been there. We never had the chance to go deep into the SAnitY character.

“We had unfinished business with Undisputed Era so we could have gone into a bigger program, maybe some Takeover matches or something because we had a lot of fun on the house shows and people would be very happy with the matches. Second of all, I feel like everybody from the group deserved a why?…explanation, go deeper into the character to give more credibility.

“Wrestling, in my belief, is everything about the why and you want to explain that story.”

SAnitY at NXT TakeOver: Orlando, WrestleMania 33 weekend, on April 1, 2017. Photo by Ricky Havlik

Just follow Tischer on social media and you’ll quickly see how supportive he is of his former stablemates, both from SAnitY and Imperium.

He lauds Cross for both her further development in NXT and excelling on the main roster. Just further evidence, he believes, that SAnitY had more potential.

“It was very promising and in the end it was very disappointing, but that’s what it is,” he said. “You cannot control it, we tried hard. I believe we gave all in our abilities at that time with our knowledge. Also, you go up to the main roster, you don’t know anything. It doesn’t matter how long you’re in NXT. You go up there and you maybe know how to work a production, but the NXT production is (smaller).”

Once SAnitY was disbanded, Tischer made his debut on NXT UK in 2019, still as Alexander Wolfe, and joined Imperium. He had been friends with WALTER and Barthel for about a decade. Add in Aichner and Tischer said what you saw on TV was real and it was the same behind the scenes.

“We all like each other, we all understand each other, we all have the same passion for professional wrestling,” he said. “That’s what glues us together.”

Imperium was built off the faction Ringkampf, led by WALTER, in wXw, Progress and PWG. Though never an official member and no character to portray, Tischer helped form the group while he was still in SAnitY and worked in the background for Ringkampf.

With Imperium, he was thrilled to be part of that Ringkampf version, but on WWE television.

“Being back in a stable with one of your best friends in the business is amazing so you tour together, spend time together, basically it’s like the old days in wXw,” he said.

“It was a great time and for me it was a savior of my wrestling passion career because after SAnitY failed and after just sitting in catering and being bored, I have to admit I got depressed with myself, I gained a lot of weight, I just gave zero f—ks about anything. I was like, yeah I get paid, but who cares? You still try to make it work ’til the last minute. I was not in a good place, but then I got the chance to become a wrestler again.”

Tischer said it’s amazing watching his friends succeed on Smackdown as Gunther, Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci.

“It’s awesome to see them being successful on national television, they have a great time, they travel, they make good money and they are successful in what they believe. It’s not an act, that’s real,” Tischer said. “Also seeing Gunther, for example, having the chance to represent the Intercontinental title and make it valuable again. Intercontinental was one of the most important titles and one of my favorite titles as well and he’s now the guy bringing it back to prestige.”

Tischer, whose contract expired in June of 2021, acknowledges he would entertain the possibility of a WWE return, as others have since Triple H took over creative.

“Sure, why not? It was amazing to work with him, and also he had such a huge influence on my career as well. He’s the guy who gives you the lightbulb moment. You want to do something and he says, ‘Hey, how about you turn a little bit to the right and then you go this side and you catch the camera right there.’ It’s like boom, never thought about that. It’s tiny stuff which makes such a huge difference. Him and Shawn [Michaels] together is a dream team for being a coach, being a mentor, being a producer, in general as a boss as well.”

Tischer has no regrets about his WWE stint. He prefers to learn from his experiences. One change would be a better communicator and ask more questions rather than staying quiet in fear of asking too many questions. He’s enjoying watching the WWE product from afar with the influence from Triple H.

“It’s cool to see that finally he gets the opportunity just to do his thing. It’s awesome, it’s successful. It gained a lot of interest right now watching WWE. It’s more interesting, it’s more fascinating. It’s more in-ring action right now everybody is more happier and that tells it all. It’s more fun to watch it again.

“I’m still in contact with a lot of guys there and they say it’s changed day and night and I’m very happy about that.”

He added that’s not a knock on Vince McMahon, who built the WWE to be as successful as it is.

“It was his decision to run the company like this and a lot of people had success with that.”

For now, Tischer is loving his wrestling schedule and enjoying life in and out of the ring. That includes his upcoming trip to Canada.

“Hopefully I get me some original maple leaf syrup for my pancakes.”

TOP PHOTO: A recent photo of Alex Tischer. Photo by Janice Mersiovsky