WWE NXT UK Champion WALTER recently spoke with Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated and said he never worried if he’s a babyface or a heel, he just focuses on what’s happening in the ring. The leader of Imperium was asked if he sees his character developing into more of a prototypical heel, like he was with his recent “Takeover: Blackpool II” win over Joe Coffey, or if he has another direction in mind.
“I never worry, ‘Am I a babyface? Am I a heel?’ I always focus on my performance, and I focus on wrestling the way I believe in,” WALTER said. “I want to be as authentic about it as I can be for the audience so they can understand it, and then it’s up to them. Do they see it the same way as we do? Or do they think wrestling should be something else other than we do? That’s up to them. I will always aim for the most effective things to do in the ring, not the most exciting. Some things are exciting and effective, but the effectiveness is my main thought and focus.”
Saturday’s WWE Worlds Collide main event will see Imperium (WALTER, Alexander Wolfe, Marcel Barthel, Fabian Aichner) do battle with The Undisputed Era (NXT Champion Adam Cole, NXT Tag Team Champions Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish, Roderick Strong). WALTER praised his partners when asked what he thinks will resonate with fans about Aichner, Barthel and Wolfe.
“It’s a great chance for the fans to see what they’re really capable of,” he said. “All three of them are fantastic professional wrestlers. They’ve not been in the top spots yet, and this is perfect. Everything is there. It starts Saturday for them to unleash and show what they can do. From a physical standpoint, none of us is lighter than 100 kilograms [220 pounds], which is very rare in wrestling nowadays. Undisputed Era, they’re more athletes that are lighter and more agile. It’s going to be very exciting, and I’m looking forward to seeing my team partners shine on Saturday.”
He continued with the praise when asked what fans can expect in the big eight-man, “Marcel, Fabian and Alexander are all fantastic professional wrestlers, and they’re all on the top level. But until now, they haven’t been on the platform to display that in the way they can. Saturday is the chance for them to show the audience and the fans at home what they’re able to do. It will be very exciting.”
WALTER has been known for his vicious chops for years now. Barrasso asked when he realized the chops could be WALTER’s calling card.
“I started using it because I always found what’s most effective for me was what was the most logical,” WALTER said. “I’m not the most athletic guy, but I bring a certain amount of strength with me. I have big limbs, big arms, and big hands, so I thought, I should use them. I started using them very early in my career. I went to Japan to train, and the chop is a very often used strike technique in Japan. I learned it properly there, so I kept using it. I also get a very good reaction, but I try to use it as effectively as possible, and that’s why I think it became popular.”
WALTER was then asked if his opponents ever gripe or complain about receiving the chops, but he doesn’t care if they do.
“I don’t care if they do. That’s wrestling. It is very physical, it’s competitive. No one complains to my face. Maybe they do afterward. But it’s nothing I care about,” he said.
We noted earlier today at this link how WALTER expressed interest in a possible Royal Rumble showdown with WWE Champion Brock Lesnar on Sunday, and talked about why he respects Lesnar, and is a fan. WALTER was asked about his long-term goal in WWE, like defeating The Beast. He admitted that the fan in him wants to face Lesnar.
“That’s the fan in me, that’s what I’d enjoy most. But I’m not a person who sets huge, long-term goals. I just go with the flow, adjust when I need to adjust, keep focusing on now and try to do everything to the best of my abilities,” WALTER said.