NXT’s Fabian Aichner: From Germany To EVOLVE Champion

On Sunday night at EVOLVE 114, several NXT talents invaded the show, outside of the announced debut of The Street Profits (Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins) who were appearing to answer EVOLVE Tag Team Champions Doom Patrol (Chris Dickinson & Jaka) open challenge for the event. One of the NXT faces who arrived with the Street Profits was NXT Superstar Fabian Aichner, who challenged EVOLVE Champion Shane Strickland to a title match and shockingly upset “Swerve”, one of the most popular indie superstars on the circuit right now. But who in the world is Fabian Aichner?

Only 28 years old, Fabian Aichner hails from Italy, but he moved to Germany to pursue his dream of becoming a professional wrestler. He attended The Wright Stuff, the wrestling school owned and operated by former WCW Superstar Alex Wright, and began his career with Wright’s New European Championship Wrestling (NEW) at the tail end of 2011, under the ring name Adrian Severe. NEW was founded in 2009 in Nuremberg and is an alternative promotion to other top German promotions like Westside Xtreme Wrestling (wXw, founded in 2000) and German Wrestling Federation (GWF, founded in 1995). He’s a former 2x NEW World Heavyweight Champion, NEW Hardcore Champion and NEW Tag Team Champion. Early in his career, he had matches against some of Germany’s top emerging stars at the time, such as WALTER and “Bad Bones” John Klinger.

In 2014, Adrian Severe branched out of NEW to other parts of Europe, competing for Dansk Pro Wrestling (DPW) in Denmark, Italy’s European Pro Wrestling (EPW), Switzerland’s Swiss Championship Wrestling (SCW), and England’s World Assocation of Wrestling (WAW). By 2016, he was working regularly in the UK, working matches for All Star Wrestling (ASW), PROGRESS, IPW, and FutureShock in England, plus Over The Top (OTT) Wrestling and Celtic Championship Wrestling (CCW) in Ireland.

In 2016, he was also selected to be a part of the WWE Cruiserweight Classic as one of the tournaments 32 competitors, but his stay was a brief one. Competing under his real name, Fabian Aichner, he lost to Jack Gallagher in the opening round and failed to sign with the WWE for the new Cruiserweight Division and 205 Live like many of the competitors did.

But the WWE kept tabs on Aichner’s career and in June of 2017, nearly a year after the CWC, he was finally signed by the WWE and assigned to the WWE Performance Center. He made his NXT Live Event debut later that month. He made his NXT TV debut in September, in a losing match against Kassius Ohno, but in November would return and stun the WWE Universe with an upset victory of Johnny Gargano. In past months, he’s faced the likes of Hideo Itami, Ohno, EC3, Lio Rush and even former NXT Champion Aleister Black at Live Events, and is frequently paired with another former German indie star, Marcel Barthel, better known as Axel Deiter Jr. in wXw and a member of the faction Ringkampf (that featured WALTER and Timothy Thatcher as well). Thanks to his previous exposure in the UK indie scene from 2014 through 2017, he’s also been a part of several tapings for upcoming episodes of NXT UK.

But then Sunday happened and Aichner arrived unannounced for EVOLVE 114, challenged Shane Strickland for the EVOLVE Championship – a title previously held by the likes of other indie stars like Zack Sabre Jr., Chris Hero (Kassius Ohno), Matt Riddle, Drew Galloway (Drew McIntyre), AR Fox and Timothy Thatcher. It’s since been announced that Aichner will compete at several more EVOLVE events to defend his new title, and with appearances lined up for NXT and NXT UK, we could be seeing the start of a new push for the Italian wrestler.