WWE Chairman Vince McMahon never really "got" Gunther, hence why he'd planned to turn the formidable Austrian into a comedy character before thankfully being ousted from the company.
With Triple H in charge, Gunther has embarked on a historic Intercontinental Championship run and become one of WWE's top Superstars. When he arrived on the main roster, he also lost a lot of weight in an apparent bid to seemingly better fit the archetype of the type of professional wrestler McMahon is drawn to.
Talking on Insight with Chris Van Vliet, Gunther reflected on his weight loss journey and confirmed he wanted to make that physical transformation as part of his leap from NXT/NXT UK to RAW and SmackDown.
"When I was my old me, I didn't feel like someone that was too heavy," he said. "I didn't feel like an overweight person, because it was always very comfortable. Looking back now and seeing the distance, it's like 'Oh my gosh.'"
"When I signed on for the main roster...let's bring the best version of yourself you can. You're going to be in front of millions of people. I think that's necessary now. I'm glad I did it. The bigger guy has his place in wrestling, but I felt it was time to take a step and progress."
Gunther went on to explain that he was eating poorly and credits a bodybuilder friend who helped Imperium stablemates Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci get into better shape during the pandemic for helping him realise how poor his diet was.
In the same interview, he addressed his match with The Miz at Survivor Series this weekend, calling his opponent "the embodiment of that era when I didn't like to watch WWE at all."
Despite that, Gunther is looking forward to putting his title on the line against his foe this weekend. "I'm still a little bit of a new guy here. In WWE, I'm a little bit of an outsider, if that makes sense. It's at least how I feel when I watch it. I'm not the typical WWE wrestler."
"So I always wanted to be in the ring with Miz because, first of all, he has the background with the Intercontinental Championship. And secondly, it's a great measuring stick for me, if that makes sense, because it's a little bit of a clash of two worlds."
Who do you think will pick up the win on Saturday night?