With the relaunch occuring, NXT UK is preparing itself to host one of the most sizable matches in their company’s history: WALTER versus Ilja Dragunov for the NXT UK Championship. As of this writing, there is no word on when this bout will take place, however, fans cannot wait for this highly anticipated match. In his interview on WWE’s The Bump, WALTER takes the panel through the long-standing feud with Dragunov and how they first met.
“I’ve known Ilja when he first started fresh in Germany,” WALTER recalled. “Right away, when he entered, he was different from anyone else. Nobody else looked that focused or passionate. His intensity is on a different level; Ilja is a generational talent.
“Yes, I’ve faced him at different times and different stages. Being able to face him in NXT UK is very special to me. Every time we’re in the ring together, it’s special. No one can measure up to our brutality or intensity. I look forward to displaying this in a WWE ring.”
Last year, WALTER made his presence felt when he competed in the 5-On-5 Traditional Elmination match at Survivor Series, as well as a singles match against “The Monday Night Messiah” Seth Rollins. Looking back on it now, he believes he shouldn’t have been part of that Survivor Series matchup.
“I really enjoyed competing with Seth because, obviously, he’s one of the top guys in the world right now. You want to compete with someone like him,” he mentioned. “Going into Survivor Series was a different case. I’m a believer in classic wrestling competitions like singles matches and tag team matches. I’m really focused on the message that we believe in Imperium.
“Joining forces with other members from the NXT roster was necessary, but at the end of the day, I wasn’t invested in it the way I should’ve been. Looking back, it was definitely a good experience, but looking at that match straight, I should not have been in that.”
With his demeanor and agility, the world is WALTER’s oyster when it comes to who he can defeat down the road. Of those potential dream matches, the WWE Universe has mentioned time and time again that “The Ring General” should face Cesaro someday. Though it’s not one of his dream matches per se, WALTER mentioned that he wouldn’t mind squaring off with “The Swiss Superman.”
“I wouldn’t say my top dream matchup, but for sure,” he replied. “Cesaro is a role model. He’s the first German-speaking guy who really made it in WWE. He represents European wrestling perfectly. The kind of wrestler he is, the kind of person he is, his work ethic, I think, makes Cesaro a really good role model for us. If that chance occurs that I can share a ring with him, then yeah, I would love to do it for sure.”
You can watch WALTER’s full interview here. If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit WWE’s The Bump with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.