WWE: The 10 Best Of NXT’s Walter as Gunther arrives on SmackDown!

Recently promoted to the main roster and formerly known as Walter, Gunther has held the longest reign in WWE since 1988, when he spent 870 days in possession of the NXT United Kingdom Championship, between April 2019 and August 2021. Born on August 20, 1987, in Vienna, almost five months after FC Porto won its first European title in the Austrian capital, Walter Hahn debuted in the ring on November 19, 2005, when he was just 18 years old, and since then who has been a very worthy representative of Mozart’s country in pro wrestling. After stints with two of the main European companies, the German Westside Xtreme Wrestling (wXw) and the British Progress Wrestling, he passed through the North American Evolve and Pro Wrestling Guerrilla before making his WWE debut in January 2019, at NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool.

Three months later he began his two-year reign as UK champion, appearing on both NXT UK and NXT. In January 2022 he moved permanently to NXT, but in April he moved to SmackDown. So it’s worth remembering Gunther’s ten best matches in WWE, in chronological order.

NXT TakeOver: New York (April 5, 2019)
WWE United Kingdom Championship: Pete Dunne (c) vs. Walter

On January 12, 2019, at NXT UK TakeOver: Blackpool, Walter made his WWE debut by confronting United Kingdom Champion Pete Dunne, who had just defended the title against Joe Coffey. The following week, Walter confronted Dunne and Joe Coffey, showing once again that he was intent on winning the  WWE United Kingdom Championship. On the February 2 episode of NXT UK, Walter made his in-ring debut, beating Jack Starz in under four minutes. All of this led to a title match between Pete Dunne and Walter being scheduled for  NXT TakeOver: New York. Both now have new names in Smackdown, Gunter & Butch.

NXT UK TakeOver: Cardiff (August 31, 2019)
WWE United Kingdom Championship: Walter (c) vs. Tyler Bate

On the July 3, 2019, episode of  NXT  UK, Imperium (Walter, Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel) interfered in a match between Mustache Mountain (Trent Seven and Tyler Bate) for the  NXT  UK Tag Team Championship, attacking and injuring Tyler Bate. On the July 31 episode, Bate returned and attacked Imperium. As a consequence, a  WWE United Kingdom Championship match was scheduled between champion Walter and Tyler Bate for  NXT UK TakeOver: Cardiff.

NXT (October 9, 2019)
Walter vs. Kushida

On the September 18, 2019, episode of NXT, Kushida was scheduled to face Denzel DeJournette when three Imperium members (Marcel Barthel, Fabian Aichner, and Alexander Wolfe) surrounded the ring and attacked DeJournette. Shortly afterwards, UK champion Walter joined the group, claiming they were there to restore the honour and tradition of his sport. However, Kushida appeared and engaged in physical confrontations with the elements of the Imperium, managing to come out on top. A week later, Kushida teamed up with the Breezango to defeat Wolfe, Aichner and Barthel, but after the match, the Japanese suffered a Big Boot from Walter. On the October 2 episode, it was announced that the following week Walter and Kushida would face off in a non-title match.

NXT UK (October 29, 2020)
WWE United Kingdom Championship: Walter (c) vs. Ilja Dragunov

On April 2, 2020, episode of  NXT  UK  (taped March 7), Ilja Dragunov won a 20-man battle royal to become the main contender for the  WWE United Kingdom Championship, having eliminated Tyler Bate in last place. However, due to restrictions established by the United Kingdom due to the covid-19 pandemic,  NXT  UK  was suspended until September, when it returned without an audience. On the September 17 episode, Dragunov beat Noam Dar and after the match was confronted by champion Walter. Two weeks later, Dragunov saved Pete Dunne from an attack at the hands of Walter and Alexander Wolfe, which led to a tag team match between the two parties on the October 15 episode, with Dragunov and Dunne winning. On October 22, during the signing of the contract for the  WWE United Kingdom Championship match between Walter and Dragunov the following week, the champion brutally attacked the Russian.

NXT UK (January 14, 2021)
WWE United Kingdom Championship: Walter (c) vs. A-Kid

On the December 17 episode of NXT UK, A-Kid issued a challenge to Walter, having gotten a quick response from the UK champion. Although Walter praised the technical quality and passion of A-Kid, who weeks earlier had become the first NXT UK Heritage Cupholder, The Ring General was insulted that the Spaniard had dared to suggest he could compete with him and vowed to end with A-Kid’s fairy tale. https://www.tokyvideo.com/es/embed/46955

NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver – Day 1(April 7, 2021)
NXT United Kingdom Championship:Walter (c) vs. Tommaso Ciampa

With a reign that already exceeded 700 days and that was already the longest in the WWE since 1988, Walter, who usually only attended  NXT  UK events, appeared on the March 17, 2021, episode of  NXT  and decimated  Tommaso Ciampa. That said, it was announced that the Austrian would defend the  NXT United Kingdom Championship against  Ciampa on the first night of  NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver.

NXT TakeOver 36 (August 22, 2021)
NXT United Kingdom Championship:Walter (c) vs. Ilja Dragunov

In October 2020 at  NXT  UK, Walter beat Ilja Dragunov to retain the  NXT United Kingdom Championship. In June 2021, Dragunov gained a new opportunity to fight for the title by beating Rampage Brown and Joe Coffey in a  triple threat match. Initially, the title match was scheduled for the July 22 episode of  NXT  UK, with the signing had taken place the week before. However, Walter injured his hand during a  backstage altercation, which led to the match being postponed to  NXT TakeOver 36, precisely one month later.

NXT (January 18, 2022)
Walter vs. Roderick Strong

A match without much history, between two fighters who were starting new career cycles, since Walter had just transferred permanently from NXT UK to NXT, while Roderick Strong had lost the NXT Cruiserweight Championship two weeks earlier in a match. in which that title was unified with Carmelo Hayes’s NXT North American Championship.

NXT Stand & Deliver 2022
LA Knight vs. Gunther

Annoyed that fighters like LA Knight were given opportunities to fight for the NXT Championship instead of him for simply talking, Gunther confronted LA Knight on the March 22 episode of NXT, claiming to be the embodiment of “sports entertainment, charisma, and athletic ability”. while LA Knight represents everything that is wrong with pro wrestling. In turn, LA Knight challenged the Austrian to a match at NXT Stand & Deliver 2022. <https://www.tokyvideo.com/es/embed/136350

NXT (April 5, 2022)
NXT Championship : Bron Breakker (c) vs. Gunther

The day after regaining the NXT Championship from Dolph Ziggler, Bron Breakker went to the ring to talk about his victory but was interrupted by Gunther, who challenged the champion to a title match that same night.

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