The phrase ‘the best in the world’ is currently a hot topic in wrestling, with a certain Chicago-born star potentially heading back to the ring. But NXT United Kingdom Champion WALTER believes there is another man who holds that crown.
As WALTER prepares to make the 10th defence of his United Kingdom Championship at NXT TakeOver: 36, the colossal Austrian sat down with talkSPORT’s Alex McCarthy to chat all things WWE.
While WWE’s current longest reigning champion has his focus firmly set on his upcoming clash at TakeOver, that doesn’t mean that he hasn’t cast his mind forward to a potential dream match with the man who he believes is the best in the world. The Beast, Brock Lesnar.
“Brock Lesnar is like, I think – I don’t know how long he doesn’t wrestle, two years? – for the years before that, I think he was the best wrestler in the world.
“Nobody was smarter, nobody drew more money, nobody knew how to protect themselves [like he did]. He wasn’t there all the time [and] I love that presentation about him. I think he’s fantastic.
“Some of the best matches in WWE in the recent years have had Brock involved because he’s fantastic. He’s going to look like a million bucks, but everybody who wrestles him is going to look like that as well, when they have a competitive match with him.
“Obviously, that would be great to do [face Lesnar].”
NXT TakeOver 36: will also see the return to in-ring competition of Samoa Joe. The Samoan Submission Machine is set to take on NXT Champion Karrion Kross in his first match since February 2020.
WALTER spoke glowingly about the returning star, saying that it would be a pleasure to face him.
“I’d love to wrestle Joe. We kind of filled the same spot, just in different generations. I think that makes it interesting.
“When I was growing up and I was watching wrestling and started to look out for other wrestling to study and stuff like that, Joe was the man everywhere. He was the record champion in Ring of Honor.
“He had the great match with [Kenta] Kobashi that I watched 10 times or something like that – I loved it. Joe did so much great stuff in wrestling, it would be my pleasure, obviously.”
The highly anticipated rematch between WALTER and Ilja Dragunov for the NXT United Kingdom Championship will finally take place at NXT TakeOver: 36.
The bout had originally been scheduled to take place on an episode of NXT UK, but WALTER sustained an injury to his left hand leading to the clash being postponed.
The pair first met for the championship in October 2020, in a brutal contest that received praise across the board. It was temporarily the highest-rated WWE match of all time on Cagematch.net, before being awarded a five-star rating from Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer.
Looking ahead to the match, WALTER said that Dragunov might just be his biggest rival.
“Ilja is maybe my biggest rival over the past few years. He follows me everywhere [laughs]. Ilja and I come from the same place in regards to wrestling in Germany and we have a similar mentality about how wrestling should be.
“Also, our wrestling style in Germany was always very physical and very intense. I’m glad I get to introduce my kind of wrestling to a big audience now, especially as the representative of NXT UK or European wrestling in general.”
Elsewhere at NXT TakeOver: 36, NXT Women’s Champion Raquel Gonzalez will defend her title against her friend turned rival Dakota Kai, while Kyle O’Reilly and Adam Cole meet one more time in a ‘2 out of 3 Falls’ Match.