Slam’s Alex Podgorski is in St. Petersburg, Florida, for this year’s Royal Rumble. Alex sat down with the longest reigning Intercontinental Champion Gunther and picked his brain about whether he can repeat the success he had at last year’s event.
Alex Podgorski: What are your thoughts going into this year’s Royal Rumble compared to where things were last year where you started at number one?
Gunther: I hope I start number one again, to be honest. That would be great! I want to win it this time!
Alex Podgorski: What would be your strategy to do so?
Gunther: I don’t know. Break Cody Rhodes leg before he can walk out? (Laughs)
Last time it was very great experience for me. It was a good moment being from in the Rumble from the beginning to the end. It sucked losing to the guy that walked in at number 30. He was all rehabbed and refreshed but that’s just how things are. This year, like I said, ideally I start at one again and I can win it this time.
Alex Podgorski: You’ve quickly become a favorite to win the Rumble despite there being so many other big names like Cody Rhodes, maybe The Rock, many other high-profile names possibly getting in the match. What do you think your chances are?
Gunther: It’s great! Bring it on! It’s exciting! That’s what I’m here for. I want to get in the mix with everybody and a Rumble is a great chance to have interactions that you usually don’t have so I’m excited for it!
Alex Podgorski: If you do win who do you want to face at WrestleMania?
Gunther: It’s a good question. I think I’m in a position where people have to kind of chase me and make that point. There’s nobody pinned down. I’ve got focus. I want to win. If I had to pick now, I want to challenge Seth (Rollins) because he’s THE champion. He’s the champion that is most like me. I think Roman (Reigns) is doing his thing. He can keep doing that. My focus now is on Seth (Rollins).
Alex Podgorski: Speaking of challenging Seth, if you win the Rumble and you beat him at WrestleMania what are your plans in a situation where you could be carrying two titles?
Gunther: I haven’t thought about it yet because it’s a problem for ‘future Gunther’, I think, but we will see. It’s an interesting scenario. WWE titles deserve someone’s full attention and full energy. So, we’ll have to see. A sensible decision will have to be made if that scenario happens.
Alex Podgorski: Your career has spanned over 15 years. You once started in WXW in Germany. You’ve been all over the European independents. Now you’ve made a great success for yourself here in North America. Looking beyond just being a WWE wrestler or just being a champion, are there other major goals that you have for yourself as a competitor in this industry?
Gunther: Yes and no because obviously you want to achieve the goals you want to achieve. I’m taking it day by day and just enjoying the ride. I think now is the most exciting time in this business. We have never had it like this before, to be honest, maybe the Monday Night Wars come close but we are hotter than ever. It’s a very exciting time!