Mus­cle­man Wiese ea­ger to make wrestling de­but

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Af­ter pack­ing on 40kgs (88lbs) of mus­cle, ex-Ger­many goal­keeper Tim Wiese will make his full WWE de­but on Thurs­day in what he de­scribes as the ‘Cham­pi­ons League’ of wrestling.

The 34-year-old made the last of his six friendly ap­pear­ances for Ger­many in 2012 and was part of their 2010 World Cup squad. But af­ter hang­ing up his boots three years ago and dra­mat­i­cally beef­ing up, Wiese is poised to make his pro­fes­sional wrestling de­but in Mu­nich.

At 1.93m (6ft 4in) and weigh­ing around 130kgs (20st, 6lbs), Wiese will be an im­pos­ing fig­ure in the razzmatazz world of World Wrestling En­ter­tain­ment (WWE) hav­ing rad­i­cally changed his fig­ure.

Wiese bulked up with an in­ten­sive sched­ule of weight-train­ing ses­sions and a diet which in­cluded a kilo of meat per day. He has trained for his de­but in Or­lando, Florida and will wres­tle in “The Shin­ing Stars” team, along­side estab­lished WWE stars Ce­saro and Shea­mus.

“This is Cham­pi­ons League. WWE is the big­gest thing in wrestling, so I’m full-fo­cused and blend­ing out ev­ery­thing else around me,” Wiese told SID, an AFP sub­sidiary.

Wiese has yet to be given his wrestling nick­name, and ex­pects a few boos from the crowd as part of the show. “I think I’ll be play­ing the role of the bad guy,” he said. “I’m be­ing pushed in that di­rec­tion, but that’s okay.

“My god, in foot­ball, I was al­ready the bad guy who op­po­si­tion fans would in­sult. I’m okay with that, it doesn’t bother me. They can all hate me.” Wiese turned his back on the Bun­desliga in 2013 af­ter 269 ap­pear­ances in Ger­many’s top flight for Werder Bre­men and Hof­fen­heim, for whom he made the last of his to­tal of 269 Bun­desliga ap­pear­ances in Jan­uary 2013.

Af­ter fall­ing out with the club’s bosses, he was ban­ished from the first team, even though he had three years left on his con­tract, which al­lowed him to hit the gym.

“Eleven games and three years of paid hol­i­day. That’s like win­ning the lot­tery!” he said in 2013 af­ter play­ing less than a dozen matches for Hof­fen­heim.

“That was just the truth. What more should I say?” he said look­ing back. “Should I have given up my con­tract and re­lin­quished the money? Who would have done that? I made peace with it.” His Hof­fen­heim con­tract fi­nally ex­pired ear­lier this year, al­low­ing Wiese to re­alise his dream to en­ter the adren­a­line-fu­elled world of WWE.

“I was a big fan in the 90s and, when I was a boy, I col­lected the cards and played out bouts in the play­ground,” he said.

“I kept track of it, even dur­ing my foot­balling ca­reer, but never thought of my­self as a wrestler.

“The ques­tion came when I had al­ready fin­ished with pro­fes­sional sport.

“I didn’t take it se­ri­ously as first, then things be­came more con­crete. “I’m ready and pre­pared for the drills in the US. I’ve been chased from one side of the ring to the other.

“It’s been a long time since I worked as hard as I did in the last few weeks.”

While his for­mer peers and ex-foot­ball col­leagues are be­com­ing tele­vi­sion pun­dits or study­ing to be­come coaches, Wiese en­joys be­ing dif­fer­ent. He be­comes an­i­mated when dis­cussing work-outs en­dured in the ring.—AFP

BER­LIN: This file photo taken on March 26, 2015 shows for­mer Ger­man goal­keeper Tim Wiese dur­ing a press meet­ing for the fit­ness stu­dio chain ‘High5’ in Ber­lin. Af­ter pack­ing on 40kgs (88lbs) of mus­cle, ex-Ger­many goal­keeper Tim Wiese will make his full WWE de­but on Novem­ber 3 in what he de­scribes as the ‘Cham­pi­ons League’ of wrestling. — AFP

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