Gunther (formerly WALTER) was the most dominant NXT UK Champion in history, holding the belt for 870 days. He would eventually lose the title to Ilja Dragunov at NXT TakeOver 36.
Before the two men met at TakeOver, they battled on an October 2020 episode of NXT UK that was filmed at the BT Sports Studio.
Speaking to Ryan Satin on Out of Character, Gunther explained how the pandemic era benefitted him and led to his move to NXT and eventually the main roster.
“I think I’m one of those people who really kind of profited from the pandemic. I had my rivalry with Ilja going on in NXT UK, and I think that was one of those matches that really got good exposure. During the COVID time was my title match with Ilja, and I think we really benefitted from the empty arena, that there was no crowd noise or anything like that. We both had a very intense style and stuff like that, and that match really stood out, and yeah, it put us in a position where a lot of eyes were on us and stuff like that. So I think I profited a lot from that time, and it also gave me a chance to take it little bit easy for a little bit, in terms of schedule and stuff like that. But when as it picked up a little bit again, we always had training camps at NXT UK up to the tapings and stuff. So we were a good amount of time busy and active actually in the ring over the year. But I feel like I did my bid in NXT UK during the pandemic and gave my best to keep it going, keep it interesting during the time. I outgrew it a little bit, and I felt like it was time to move on," he said
Gunther would join NXT at the start of 2022 and be moved to the main roster following WrestleMania 38.
He is the reigning WWE Intercontinental Champion. If you missed anything from WWE SmackDown, check out Fightful's full report on the show by clicking here.
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