The Ring General – known to fans as WALTER during his time in NXT and NXT UK, as well as years on the European independent scene – has transformed his figure, going from an intimidating super heavyweight to a ripped beast in the ring.
In a new gym picture showing he’s still working hard on his fitness, the current Intercontinental Champion showed off his toned body and flat abs in a pair of shorts.
He simply captioned the snap, ‘FLORIDA’, while fans flooded the tweet with messages of praise and awe.
One person wrote : ‘Your dedication is incredible man. Obviously your workouts are on point, but the changes you’ve made take a commitment to diet and overall fitness most people refuse to make. Keep it up’
‘Holy cow, dude. Great job,’ another said, while a third person added: ‘Getting shredded my man. You love to see it. Keep up the hard work.’
The Austrian wrestler started to make some changes as he moved from NXT UK to the US-based NXT brand, and then again as he found himself on the main roster.
There had been some speculation that he was encouraged to lose weight by WWE bosses, but he has dismissed that suggestion and insisted it was ‘completely his own initiative’.
Back in May, he told Germany’s Sport1: ‘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. In the WWE main roster, however, the conditions are different.
Noting that he’s now on a ‘global stage, in the mainstream’, Gunther explained he felt the need to present himself in a very different way to appeal to that audience.
‘From my point of view, you have to present yourself differently. And I prepared well for that in the months leading up to my move to the USA,’ he explained.
However, he added: ‘Honestly, no one can tell me that anyone who happens to turn on the TV wouldn’t think I was better and more believable the way I looked before than I do now.’
WWE SmackDown airs Friday nights at 1am on BT Sport 1.
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