NXT UK aired its final episode on 1 September ahead of the brand’s official closure following Worlds Collide – but it happened at the right time, according to GUNTHER!
Established in 2018 following two United Kingdom Championship Tournaments, NXT UK aired for four years to a mixed reaction but overall, the brand did what WWE needed it to – to an extent, at least. It’ll now close up shop following the NXT and NXT UK co-promoted Worlds Collide card, but it’s everything it needed to, says the former WALTER.
Speaking exclusively to Inside The Ropes’ Alex McCarthy for talkWRESTLING, GUNTHER discussed how the brand had fulfilled its purpose, with the 2023 creation of NXT Europe acting as the right step forward:
“Yeah, I think it’s [NXT Europe] great. I think it’s definitely a progression to NXT UK. I think NXT UK had kind of fulfilled its purpose. But if you want to reach out to the whole continent, I’m not sure how interesting it is to have it exclusively branded as NXT UK. So I think it’s definitely a step forward and we just have to see how it plays out.
I don’t know anything about it, basically found out with the announcement too. But I’m excited for it. There’s a lot of great talent in Europe and so I hope a lot of them get a chance actually.”
GUNTHER’s long-time ally Ludwig Kaiser chimed in too, agreeing with his partner and reiterating the rich history of professional wrestling throughout Europe:
“I can just agree honestly, there’s so much talent out there. So that’s their time now, they get the opportunity to shine. Europe has such a rich wrestling history it would be a shame not to call it NXT Europe.”
As WALTER, GUNTHER was a featured act on NXT UK after debuting there in January 2019. ‘The Ring General’ ended Pete Dunne’s lengthy NXT United Kingdom Championship that April, ultimately breaking the record set by ‘The Bruiserweight’ with his own run. Ilja Dragunov dethroned him last August, ending the reign at a mighty 870 days.
NXT Europe was announced two weeks ago and is expected to launch in 2023, effectively ending NXT UK. A number of NXT UK performers were resultantly released, including brand stalwarts Trent Seven, Mark Andrews, and Flash Morgan Webster.