What took so long?” – Released WWE star Tino Sabbatelli speaks about the origins of his ring name (Exclusive)

Former NXT Superstar Tino Sabbatelli recently revealed how WWE came up with a name for him.

Sabbatelli was an American football player before making a name in pro wrestling. He signed a developmental contract with WWE back in 2014 and was part of the NXT brand. He was released in April 2020 but was hired back in October of the same year. He finally parted ways with the company in June 2021 when he was released again.

Speaking on the latest episode of Sportskeeda Wrestling’s UnSKripted podcast, Tino mentioned that it took three months to work out a name for him. He detailed that his ring name was just a combination of his real name Sabatino Piscitelli put together in a different order.

Here’s what the former NXT star had to say:

“They kinda just, literally they took my name and swapped it. Like my real name is Sabatino. So they took out the ‘Sab’ and put ‘Tino’ obviously. And then my last name is Piscitelli, took out the ‘Pis’ and put ‘Sab’. You know, it was funny because I remember when they were doing it, it was like a three-month process, right? I was giving them names, they were giving me names. When we finally got the name, it was like, ‘Was it that hard?’ You guys just flipped my name around. What took so long?” (27:38 – 28:02)

You can watch the full interview here:


Tino Sabbatelli tagged with WWE Superstar Madcap Moss in NXT

During his stint in the developmental brand, Tino Sabbatelli teamed up with Madcap Moss. The duo came up the ranks and put on some stellar matches with the likes of The Revival, DIY and Heavy Machinery.

The two partners had contrasting careers in WWE. While Tino had two separate stints with the company, Moss managed to break away from the tag team scene and establish himself as one of the mainstays on SmackDown.

It will be interesting to see what lies ahead for the two former teammates in the business.

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