NXT UK Champion Walter spoke with Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated to promote his match against Tommaso Ciampa at next week’s TakeOver: Stand & Deliver Night 2. Here are highlights from the interview-
What excites you most about the TakeOver opportunity with Tommaso Ciampa?
I think it’s an exciting matchup. Tommaso is a very intense wrestler, and the story behind it is very interesting. A couple years ago, Tommaso was the guy in NXT. We present ourselves similarly; he presented himself then like I do now. There was no question that Tommaso was the guy in NXT. Now he’s challenging me. I’m looking forward to a very intense competition, and I think it’s going to be exciting to watch.
Following TakeOver, will we see you on a more consistent, if not weekly, basis?
My commitment right now is NXT UK. I am the NXT UK champion. Until that changes, I won’t think about the future. I’m very open to travel. That’s what wrestlers do. We’ll see what is going to happen.
You have accomplished so much internationally. When will you pursue the NXT championship? Have you ever worked a match against current champ Finn Bálor?
We have never wrestled before. It’s definitely one of the matches I am very motivated to have. Especially right now, this is the best Finn Bálor I’ve ever seen. The way he carries himself, the way he carries the company, it’s fantastic. His title reign, that’s what a title reign should look like. His title matches, that’s what title matches should look like. We were supposed to wrestle before the pandemic started, but we got interrupted. It’s a match I would like to have. The circumstances, whether he is NXT champion or whether I will be NXT UK champion, I don’t know, but it is a match I would like to have happen.
Do you want to eventually pursue a run on the main roster? Are there any specific talents on Raw or SmackDown that pique your interest?
Every time I watch, Daniel Bryan sticks out to me. Cesaro is one of the matches I want to have, Drew McIntyre as well.
The match against Ilja Dragunov was highly physical. Next you have Ciampa at TakeOver. Is the key to success for you staying true to your violent style and approach?
I plan on wrestling my style for the rest of my career. Wrestling is now done in so many different ways. For me, it’s a dramatic competition. That’s what I want to portray. I want a competition. Everybody can understand physicality. That’s how I think wrestling should be done, and that’s what I am going to do for the rest of my career.