Imperium Explains Where “The Mat Is Sacred” Phrase Came From
When Imperium enters the WWE ring, they like to say “the mat is sacred” and now they have revealed where that phrase came from.
The stable known as Imperium is heavily featured on the Smackdown brand. The group’s leader is GUNTHER, who is the current Intercontinental Champion that has held that title since June 2022. GUNTHER is joined by Ludwig Kaiser, who has been by his side since GUNTHER got called up to the main roster after WrestleMania last year. There’s also Giovanni Vinci, who rejoined the group at Clash at the Castle last September.
Prior to their success on Smackdown, GUNTHER was the longest-reigning NXT UK Champion at 870 (when he was known as WALTER) while Kaiser & Vinci were two-time NXT Tag Team Champions using their previous names Marcel Barthel (Kaiser) and Fabian Aichner (Vinci).
Imperium were guests on WWE’s The Bump this week where they talked about their success as a team. They also talked about the inspiration behind the team and the phrase “the mat is sacred” that they are known to use when they get promo time. GUNTHER explained the identity of the group:
“I have to say, to his (Kaiser’s) dad, he inspired all of us because that’s where our identity comes from. Obviously Gio, we connected later, so it was a little bit different perhaps. But there was a heavy influence on all of us.”
Kaiser spoke about the influence of his father, who wrestled as Axel Deiter and how he represented what the group is all about:
“100%, down to the ‘The mat is sacred’ and all that kind of stuff. My dad, I remember a very young age, whenever there were some kind of festivity or whatever, he would always raise his glass and say, ‘The mat is sacred.’ A lot of the things that we say, and to a certain extent portray on TV is what we actually think … what I was taught when I was a little boy.”
Imperium picked up a big win this past Friday on the February 24th edition of Smackdown when they defeated Braun Strowman, Ricochet and Madcap Moss. GUNTHER pinned Moss to get the win for his time while Drew McIntyre has made it clear he’s coming for the Intercontinental Championship.