WALTER’s impressive 870 day reign as NXT’s United Kingdom Champion has been brought to an end by his Russian nemesis, Ilja Dragunov. The rematch between champion and challenger went exactly how everyone expected, positioning itself as a potential 2021 Match of the Year contender and ultimately led to the result that both WALTER and NXT UK needed.
WALTER has held down the NXT UK fort during the post-pandemic era, keeping a stranglehold on the title throughout his brutal feuds with the likes of Dragunov, A-Kid and Rampage Brown. WALTER was exactly what NXT UK needed to keep itself afloat, with plenty of eyes being brought over from the US following WALTER’s impressive matches with Tyler Bate, Pete Dunne and Tommaso Ciampa throughout his reign. But now that NXT UK have found their feet again and are starting to rebuild their momentum following COVID, it’s time for the product and for the former champion to move on.
There has been much talk of WALTER’s future within the company, whether he’ll remain as part of NXT UK or if it’s time for him to move on to the US sister brand, though a huge question mark lingers as to whether ‘The Ring General’ actually wants to take the plunge into new, choppier waters. Plenty of sources have covered WALTER’s prior concerns about moving overseas, as his ties are solely in Europe, and moving to Florida seems to be low on his priority list. It’s a rare comment to hear from a wrestler as successful as WALTER.
However, recent statements seem to suggest that WALTER is at least open to the idea of appearing regularly for US NXT. In the past, ‘The Ring General’ has made sporadic appearances on episodes of NXT, defending his UK Championship in matches against Tommaso Ciampa and KUSHIDA, all of which have been well-received by the live audiences. WALTER is undoubtedly a huge star under the NXT umbrella, whether that be as part of the US or UK division.
Now that WALTER has essentially achieved everything he possibly could in NXT UK, it would seem almost silly for him to then return just for the sake of being a name on the brand. Much like Pete Dunne, WALTER is ready to make a name for himself amongst bigger fish, and when you’re a fish as big as ‘The Ring General’, it probably won’t take long for him to be at the top of the food chain.
WALTER’s dominant performances have led to him being considered a top contender for the NXT Championship, and I’d like to meet the guy who’d tell me that they wouldn’t want to see an NXT title match between WALTER and Samoa Joe in the near future, because he’d be wrong, so very wrong.
Not only that, but WALTER could very well be the talent that brings back a surge of momentum to weekly NXT TV. With NXT now reaching a make-or-break period following a slew of poor ratings against AEW’s weekly content, Triple H and the creative team need to pull out all the stops to ensure that their product is worth the dollars spent. WALTER could be a huge money-maker for NXT, whether that be as a 5* match factory (similar to Johnny Gargano or Aleister Black during their respective heydays) or as the new monster heel that tears through the competition and kickstarts a whole new reign of terror.
Regardless of WALTER’s future in NXT, he’s definitely a star worth capitalising on. The fans want to see more violence, more brutality and more deafening chops, for WALTER to just slink back into the shadows of NXT UK would be a huge discredit to the work he’s put in as UK champ and the star power he now holds as a worldwide sensation.
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