Tino Sabbatelli: People In WWE Told Me That I'm Their Biggest Dropped Ball In Terms Of Star Power

Tino Sabbatelli says long-time members of the industry, even those within WWE, have told him that the company dropped the ball with him.

Sabbatelli, who spent several seasons in the NFL, signed a developmental contract with WWE in 2014, and he debuted in 2015. But the promising young star never reached the next level, as he eventually suffered a concussion that sidelined him for 10 months. He also missed time with a torn pectoral muscle during his time with the company before WWE released him in 2020. WWE reportedly re-signed him in October 2020 and cut him again a few months later.

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Speaking on Sportskeeda Wrestling's UnSKripted with Dr. Chris Featherstone, when asked about whether he still keeps up with the product, Sabbatelli noted that he has somewhat distanced himself due to his departure from WWE. However, he still has the itch to perform because he knows his character could have been a hit.

"I’ve kind of distanced myself a little bit since my outing and then I still have an itch because I know the character Tino could be a megastar, and I do believe that. And I’ve had people in the industry, and I won’t name no names, that’s been inside of WWE for 16, 20 years, on the writing side, creative side, all this stuff, personally text me and say that I’ve probably been the biggest dropped hall they’ve seen of being a star. And that means a lot to me, and it kind of motivates me to maybe give it another run. And I think it’s one of those things where, when you have people like that texting you, you’re like okay. And I know in my heart what Tino could have been. It’s just one of them things where it was a lot of bad timing, lot of bad situations, but I still have the itch because I know I could be, I know the character could be very successful in this industry," said Sabbatelli.

Earlier in the interview, the former NFL player recalled how legends like Dusty Rhodes and Scott Hall praised him during his time in NXT, which motivated him during his WWE journey.

"The one thing I learned quick, just learning the industry was, the character Tino just had that ability for people to hate him," Sabbatelli explained. "And it was something that I took pride in. What really kept me motivated [was] when superstars pulled me aside. ‘The American Dream’ was the first one to pull me in the office and say, ‘Hey kid, I don’t say this much, but you got something different, man.’ And that motivated me. It was one of the things where that was what kept me going in the PC every day. And guys like Scott Hall pulled me aside one time and that meant a lot because when people tell you, listen, you’re a main-event caliber character, you’re like okay, you get motivated. People don’t just throw that word around."

Sabbatelli's future in the industry is unclear, as he hasn't wrestled since July 2020. When asked whether he'd consider signing with IMPACT Wrestling, he noted that he'd be open to it, saying, "I actually talked to IMPACT when I first stopped, and I would. I think when I, to be honest with you, I’ve been chasing the dream for 20 years. I left here in Florida at 18 years old, college dream, NFL dream, WWE dream, so I’ve loved everywhere around the country. And I feel like when I had kind of the out with WWE, I wanted to take a year to myself. I came back home, I live in south Florida, Mandy and I have a beautiful home together. And I just kind of wanted to come home after 20 years and have a year to myself and get the house set up and be with my family. Me and Mandy spent a lot of time together last year, so now that that’s coming to an end, that’s all on the table for me. It’s a possibility."

Sabbatelli last wrestled on AEW Dark in July 2020. He recently explained that his time with the company seemingly came to an end because he was accused of leaking spoilers. You can check out his comments by clicking here.

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