Fighting

Tino Sabbatelli interview at The U; WWE NXT in Fort Pierce

NXT Superstar Tino Sabbatelli mocking the crowd while headlocking Montez Ford at a WWE NXT show at the Havert L. Fenn Center in Fort Pierce. NXT returns to the Havert L. Fenn Center on Saturday, Feb. 25.
NXT Superstar Tino Sabbatelli mocking the crowd while headlocking Montez Ford at a WWE NXT show at the Havert L. Fenn Center in Fort Pierce. NXT returns to the Havert L. Fenn Center on Saturday, Feb. 25. Photo By Sadiel Speedy Ruiz

It was a Homecoming for WWE NXT Superstar Tino Sabbatelli on Friday, Feb. 24 when NXT made a special trip to South Florida at The Fieldhouse at the Watsco Center at the University of Miami in Coral Gables.

A former NFL football player, Sabbatelli grew up in Boca Raton, and family and friends made the trek 50 miles south to watch him perform in an NXT ring before a soldout crowd of 600 at a cozy Fieldhouse.

In an interview inside the Watsco Center, home of the University of Miami men’s and women’s basketball teams, Sabbatelli discussed playing football at Boca Raton High School, Oregon State University and in the NFL; his connection with former University of Miami football coach Dennis Erickson; wrestling in Miami in front of family and friends; Stone Cold Steve Austin; signing with WWE; training at the state-of-the-art WWE Performance Center; WrestleMania 33 Week in Orlando; fans in Fort Pierce; and more.

Sabbatelli, 33, is one to watch on the NXT roster. He is a chiseled athlete, wrestler, sports entertainer who can agitate and irritate a crowd. He is currently teaming with Riddick Moss, who also played football. Moss excelled at the University of Minnesota, where he earned Academic All-Big Ten honors. In Miami, this solid tag team faced a high-energy duo Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford.

The Q&A with Sabbatelli was conducted just before the Duke men’s basketball team took the Watsco Center court to prepare for its big ACC game the following day against The U.

While at Oregon State, Sabbatelli played safety, quarterbacking the defense. Quarterbacking the offense was Matt Moore, who is currently a quarterback on the Miami Dolphins.

South Florida Bragging Rights

In a 2006 spring intrasquad game at OSU, Sabbatelli intercepted a Matt Moore pass and returned it 41 yards for a touchdown.

TwitterTinoSabbatelli

- NXT in Fort Pierce

WWE’s NXT is Saturday, Feb. 25 at the Havert L. Fenn Center in Fort Pierce.

There will be a pre-show meet-n-greet around ringside included in the price of admission. WWE NXT superstars Angelo Dawkins and Montez Ford participated in the January meet-n-greet at the Havert L. Fenn Center.

At the show, fans can enter a contest to win WrestleMania tickets for WWE’s WrestleMania 33 Orlando.

Doors open at 6:30 p.m.

Bell time is 7:30 p.m.

Tickets: General Admission $10; Gold Circle (Ringside) $20.

NXTFortPierceTickets

NXTTickets.com.

@WWENXT

- NXT on WWE Network

WWE NXT is 8 p.m. Wednesdays on WWE Network.

@WWENetwork

@WWE

- NXT abroad

To see NXT in a city near you, check

www.wwe.com/events

- NXT/WrestleMania 33 Orlando

WWE WrestleMania 33 is Sunday, April 2, 2017 at Camping World Stadium, formerly Citrus Bowl Stadium, in Orlando.

During WrestleMania Week, NXT TakeOver: Orlando is Saturday, April 1 at the Amway Center, home of the NBA Orlando Magic.

@WrestleMania

- Pro Wrestling On The Web

http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/fighting/

@jimmyv3

YouTube jim varsallone (jimmyv3 channel)

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