Walter Beats Tommaso Ciampa, Retains NXT UK Title at TakeOver: Stand & Deliver

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 8, 2021

Credit: WWE.com

Walter defeated Tommaso Ciampa at NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver on Wednesday to retain the NXT United Kingdom Championship.

Walter entered TakeOver as the longest-reigning NXT UK champion of all time and the longest-reigning active champion in WWE with a title run of over 700 days, but he faced his toughest challenge yet in the form of Ciampa.

Several weeks ago, Imperium members Fabian Aichner, Marcel Barthel and Alexander Wolfe seemingly attempted to recruit Ciampa's tag team partner, Timothy Thatcher, into their group.

They said they would be willing to take Ciampa as well if Thatcher agreed, but Ciampa turned down the opportunity and said he was more intrigued about the possibility of facing Imperium's leader, Walter, for the NXT UK Championship.

The budding rivalry between Ciampa and Imperium took another step the following week when Ciampa accused Aichner and Barthel of attacking Thatcher. In retaliation, he claimed that he took out Wolfe.

That led to a match between Ciampa and Barthel on the March 17 edition of NXT, which Ciampa won. After the match, Walter made his long-awaited return to NXT and dropped Ciampa with a massive chop followed by a powerbomb.

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The following week, Ciampa vs. Walter for the NXT UK Championship was made official for NXT TakeOver: Stand & Deliver, marking the first time the title would be defended on a non-NXT UK pay-per-view since Walter won it from Pete Dunne at NXT TakeOver: New York in 2019.

While Walter had a massive size and strength advantage over Ciampa, there was reason to believe Ciampa had a legitimate chance to end Walter's dominant reign.

Ciampa is a former NXT champion who held the title for 237 days in 2018 and 2019 before having to vacate it because of injury.

He is one of the most successful NXT Superstars of all time, and although he has struggled to get back to the top of the mountain, he seemingly viewed Walter as a potential stepping stone there.

Despite the legitimacy of Ciampa, Walter walked out of TakeOver: Stand & Deliver with his title reign intact, which casts doubt on whether anyone will be able to beat him.

     

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