There is a lot of SAnitY in Violent By Design.
On Wednesday, May 19, Fightful reported that Alexander Wolfe (real name Axel Tischer) had been released by WWE. He signed with the company in 2015 and just had a match with Killian Dain on the May 18 episode of NXT. Following the bout, Imperium members Marcel Barthel and Fabian Aichner attacked Wolfe, seemingly kicking him out of the group.
Sanity formed in late 2016 and also consisted of Eric Young, Killian Dain, and Nikki Cross. During their time in NXT, Wolfe and Young captured the Tag Team Championships. In April 2018, they were called up to SmackDown, without Cross, as part of the Superstar Shake-Up.
Speaking with Fightful's Sean Ross Sapp, Wolfe discussed their move to the main roster and how it was full of empty promises.
"We had a meeting with Shawn Michaels and Triple H. Hunter told us we were getting called up to SmackDown," Wolfe explained. "He told us and then everything would change from talent relations department. You get the emails and the main roster appearances and TV production days. We came up and Mark Carano was talent relations and he told us all the fantastic things we would do. It was cool because they kind of, not promise, but they told you all the candy you will get and in the end you end up with celery. They told us big plans and everyone was high on us and Vince wanted to work together with us and we were (gonna be) on every show and pay-per-view. Empty promises, but that's the business."
After losing their first match on the main roster, Sanity immediately began brainstorming ideas for how they could justify the loss to save face with the audience. Furthermore, he discusses the creative restricting that took place and says that they pitched lots of ideas, but realized that if they don't reach Vince McMahon, you're dead in the water.
"When we started, we got put on house shows right away," Wolfe began. "The first thing on television was attacking the Usos and then we got beaten clean in a six-man right after. Then we got vibes of 'oof, first loss' and people were telling us, 'don't worry about it, people will forget this after a month.' We felt like, 'Maybe, but not the internet.' They felt sorry and told us sorry. Guys in the back were like, 'You lost? Your first match?' We thought how could repair it and justify it? We had a restart where we attacked New Day and at the time we had been on every house show and the more you work, the more money you make. They have two payment systems, which is weird. You make more money in the end. After the New Day feud, we had a match at Extreme Rules, which we won, and the SmackDown after we got beat clean again and disappeared. We also disappeared from house shows. For us, that was 'Yikes, that's not a good sign.' Not on house shows and not on television. If you're not on television, you're not on house shows because fans are like, 'who are those guys?' You have no exposure and when you come out in deep Kentucky, you hear crickets. At that point, we had the feeling we were dead in the water. There was a time where he had two or three appearances on television and it led to an eight-man tag. We had a little spotlight, but they always took it away and I don't know why. We were dead in the water and dropped the ball with that. We all believed they could have done more, not even putting us in a wrestling match, but being backstage and doing vignettes or promos. Just give us 30 seconds. We pitched a lot of ideas. At that time, there was a restructuring of the writing team and some writers were let go and others went to SmackDown. Everyone got a writer and you had the chance to pitch to the writer and they had to pitch ideas at the meeting in Stamford. When you have a writer who doesn't have the time or courage, I don't know what it is because Vince McMahon can be intimidating, then you're also dead in the water because your ideas will not reach the top of the mountain and they cannot use it for material."
As for what Sanity was pitching, Wolfe says he saw a lot of the ideas being implemented by RETRIBUTION when they first appeared. He also sees Eric Young implementing a lot of what he had wanted for Sanity in Violent By Design (his new faction in IMPACT Wrestling).
"I saw a lot of ideas that happened with RETRIBUTION in the beginning," said Wolfe. "We pitched to mess up stuff, like crash a car or destroy windows or mess around with security because we got banned as we took someone out. Just causing chaos, but controlled chaos for us because we create chaos. We did not need 15 or 20 minute TV matches. Just give us a segment where we can be us. We had wanted to do something backstage where we just randomly punched someone in the face and cause a mass brawl where we get ejected from the building. Next week, we come in as security is in there and then a fight breaks out. Maybe have fake police and we throw shit like it's a riot. Destroy something, burn something, whatever is possible. EY, Killian, and myself always drove together and had ideas that we'd pitch to each other. A lot of things you can see in IMPACT with Violent by Design. All of the stuff he's doing with the group, is the majority of that is Sanity ideas that he pitched or didn't pitch but had in his mind. He's a great mind for promos."
Violent By Design currently hold the IMPACT Wrestling World Tag Team Titles.
Sanity would disband in April 2019 after Young was drafted to Raw. Wolfe would go to NXT UK and join Imperium later that same year.
Killer Kelly told Fightful recently that Alexander Wolfe actually has a friendship with Josh Barnett and helped her get booked for Bloodsport.
You can view the full list of releases made by WWE on May 19 by clicking here.