Former WWE NXT star Tino Sabbatelli recently joined Sportskeeda’s UnSKripted program to discuss a number of different topics, including his desire to return to the industry and become bigger than ever after taking a year off for himself. Highlights from the interview can be found below.
Says he knows he could be a big wrestling star, and that certain higher-ups in WWE told him they dropped the ball on his run:
“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.”
Says Dusty Rhodes and Scott Hall always showered him with praise in NXT:
“The one thing I learned quick, just learning the industry was, the character Tino just had that ability for people to hate him. 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.”
On potentially signing with IMPACT:
“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.”
(H/T and transcribed by Fightful)