WWE is looking to make a hard push into Europe with the rise of its NXT UK brand, and now, according to PWInsider, the company has apparently signed one of the hottest European free agents in WALTER (real name Walter Hahn). After the initial report, Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter backed up the rumor.
We first heard reports that WWE was interested in signing WALTER all the way back in March, but nothing came from those reports until today. WALTER denied those original rumors, but further reports came out that he had entered into negotiations with WWE.
In an interview in September with the Mirror, WALTER addressed signing with the WWE. He said, “I don’t know if I mentioned this but being a part of the Raw or SmackDown roster is nothing I am interested in. I don’t want to live in the US.”
However, he also pointed out that his plans could change someday. “I don’t want to say it will never happen because in wrestling things change so quick,” WALTER said on the matter.
While it sounds like he’s not interested in taking on the main roster schedule or moving to Florida to compete in NXT, WWE’s expansion into Europe could create a perfect opportunity for the Austrian performer.
According to the report from PWInsider, WALTER will be part of the WWE’s expansion into Europe, and specifically, he will be part of the NXT UK brand.
Apparently, WALTER may be allowed to wrestle outside of the WWE, though it’s not clear at this time for exactly which brands he will be able to compete and what kinds of restrictions he might have.
WALTER is 6-foot 4-inches and 310 pounds, so we expect him to work as a monster in the WWE. One thing he’s known for is his devastating chops.
Before working as just WALTER, he competed under the names Big Van Walter and Big Daddy Walter.
— WALTER (@WalterAUT) November 24, 2018
The wrestler has really made a name for himself in the U.S. and Europe working for companies like EVOLVE, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla, Progress, and Defiant Wrestling.
At this time, we’re still treating this as a rumor since the WWE hasn’t officially announced the signing, but with reports from both the Observer and PWInsider, we’re quite confident that we’ll see WALTER competing for the NXT UK brand. However, neither report indicated exactly when the performer would report to the company, so we don’t know when we’ll see him in a WWE ring.