NXT UK champion WALTER recently spoke with SportBible to discuss his record breaking title reign, and gives his thoughts on his epic bout with Ilja Dragunov last October, and how the match was universally praised across the board. Highlights from the Ring General’s interview can be found below.
Says championship matches lose value when they happen so often:
These days championship matches lose a little bit of value because they happen so often. I like when championships are defended, I don’t know, three or four times a year. It’s the main title with a big buildup. That’s the big happening. That’s what keeps it special,” WALTER told SportBIBLE. “There hasn’t been 15 or 20 title matches in that in that time span. So then that helped make each and every match I had stand out. When I won the title against Pete (Dunne), then defending against Tyler (Bate) in Cardiff. Then the one with Ilja Dragunov, which has been the most recent one. I think all those matches stood out for themselves. Each for their own. It’s been a different story and a different experience for the fans every time. Especially the one with Ilja, that was something new that nobody has ever seen before.
On his title match with Ilja Dragunov from NXT UK:
I’ve known Ilja for years now. I was already established in Germany when he started out, but you could always tell that he was special. He’s a maniac. I remember a few hours before an event I would arrive and walk around. I’d say hello to people and there’s this one freak already running around in his wrestling boots and his outfit. He was intense he was ready to go, hours before the match. I was like ‘Jesus, who’s that guy?’ The person you see in the ring with Ilja, that intensity, that’s Ilja in real life as well. He’s a very intense worker, and I think a very humble person. There’s zero ego. He’s like a sponge that soaks any information up that you give to him wrestling wise, and in life in general. He’s just somebody who wants to grow. We have a very similar idea of what wrestling should be. And that’s why it goes well together. I would say he is still the biggest rival I have in NXT:UK right now. You can be very similar to someone in the sense of how you think, but in the ring is in the ring. Whenever I’m in the ring, I want to be better than him. And he wants to be better than I am. That’s what makes it exciting for the fans.