Walter in September 2017
|Birth name||Walter Hahn|
|Born||20 August 1987|
|Professional wrestling career|
|Ring name(s)||Big Daddy Walter|
Big Van Walter
|Billed height||6 ft 4 in (193 cm)|
|Billed weight||297 lb (135 kg)|
|Debut||19 November 2005|
Walter Hahn (born 20 August 1987) is an Austrian professional wrestler and trainer. He is currently signed to WWE, where he performs on the NXT UK and NXT brands mononymously as Walter (usually stylised in all-caps as WALTER) as the leader of the Imperium stable featuring Marcel Barthel, Fabian Aichner and Alexander Wolfe, and is the current WWE United Kingdom Champion in his first reign. He has appeared in a number of independent promotions around the world, most notably Westside Xtreme Wrestling, Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG), where he is a former one-time PWG World Champion, and Progress Wrestling, where he is a former Progress Unified World Champion. He won the WWE United Kingdom Championship when he defeated Pete Dunne at NXT TakeOver: New York.
Professional wrestling career
Westside Xtreme Wrestling (2007–present)
Walter made his Westside Xtreme Wrestling debut on 4 May 2007, in a match that also involved Atsushi Aoki, Adam Polak, and Tengkwa on the pre-show at the 16 Carat Gold Tournament. He defeated Zack Sabre Jr. to win the wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship on 2 October 2010 in Oberhausen, Germany. He lost the title to Daisuke Sekimoto on 15 January 2011, but won it back later that year on 2 May 2011, during a Big Japan Pro Wrestling card in Tokyo, Japan. He would then hold the title for 383 days, before losing it to El Generico on 19 May 2012. In the early May 2012 Big van Walter was defeated by Yoshihito Sasaki in a match to crown the inaugural BJW World Strong Heavyweight champion in Yokohama, Japan. He won the title for a third time on 27 July 2014, defeating Tommy End at Fans Appreciation Night, but lost it to Karsten Beck on 17 January 2015.
Walter and partner Robert Dreissker defeated RockSkillet (Jay Skillet and Jonathan Gresham) to win the wXw World Tag Team Championship at day three of 16 Carat Gold on 3 March 2013. They would later lose the titles in Hamburg, Germany to Hot and Spicy (Axel Dieter Jr. and Da Mack). He partnered Zack Sabre Jr. to win the vacant wXw World Tag Team Championship on 4 October 2015 in the finals of the 2015 World Tag Team Tournament, but relinquished the title at the wXw Fifteenth Anniversary Show on 12 December 2015, losing to Cerebrus (Ilja Dragunov and Robert Dreissker). Walter and Ringkampf stablemate Timothy Thatcher defeated Massive Product (David Starr and Jurn Simmons) to win the wXw World Tag Team Championship in the finals of the 2017 wXw World Tag Team League on 8 October 2017. On 11 March Walter and Thatcher lost the wXw Tag Titles to Da Mack and John Klinger.
He is head trainer at the wXw Wrestling Academy.
Progress Wrestling (2015–present)
On 24 May 2015, Walter debuted as Big Daddy Walter in Progress Wrestling at the 2015 Super Strong Style 16 Tournament at the Electric Ballroom in London, losing to Rampage Brown in the first round. The two met again later in 2015 at Chapter 23: What A Time To Be Alive! in a match notable for the ring breaking after Brown was whipped into the corner. He entered the Super Strong Style 16 Tournament again in 2016, reaching the quarter-finals before being eliminated by Chris Hero.
Walter participated in the tournament to determine the inaugural Progress Atlas champion in 2016 but he finished the tournament with 2 points. At Chapter 47, Ringkampf (Walter, Axel Dieter Jr. and Timothy Thatcher) challenged British Strong Style (Pete Dunne, Trent Seven and Tyler Bate) for all of their championships, in a six man tag team match, unsuccessfully challenging all of them. He defeated Matt Riddle to win the Progress Atlas Championship at Chapter 51: Screaming For Progress at the O2 Academy Birmingham. He lost the title to Riddle a little over a month later on a Progress card in New York City, but recaptured it at Chapter 55: Chase The Sun at Alexandra Palace in a Three Way match that also involved Matt Riddle and Timothy Thatcher. At Chapter 68: Super Strong Style 16 Tournament Edition 2018, Walter vacated the Atlas title in order to chase the PROGRESS world title, held by Travis Banks. At Chapter 74: Mid Week Matters, he defeated Banks to win the title.
During the 2019's edition of Super Strong Style 16, Walter defeated Trent Seven in a title vs title match, winning Seven's Progress Atlas Championship.
Walter unsuccessfully challenged for the WWN Championship the next night at Evolve 91 in New York City in a Four Way match that also involved Matt Riddle, Keith Lee, and Tracy Williams. He again made an unsuccessful challenge for the WWN Championship on 9 December 2017 when he was defeated by Lee at Evolve 96 in New York City.
Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (2017–2018)
Walter made his Pro Wrestling Guerrilla (PWG) debut by entering the 2017 Battle of Los Angeles tournament, where he was eliminated by eventual finalist Keith Lee in the opening round. He was then defeated by Ricochet at All Star Weekend 13 - Night One. The next day, he got his first PWG victory by defeating Zack Sabre Jr. in a match that was awarded a five-star rating by Dave Meltzer in the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.
In January 2018, Walter unsuccessfully challenged for the PWG World Tag Team Championship with Ringkampf partner Timothy Thatcher, losing to the defending Chosen Bros (Jeff Cobb and Matt Riddle). On 21 April 2018, Walter defeated champion Keith Lee and Jonah Rock in a three-way match to win the PWG World Championship. Walter later lost the title to Jeff Cobb on 19 October.
Defiant Wrestling (2018)
It was announced that Walter was going to be added to the Defiant Internet Championship match of David Starr against Travis Banks at Lights Out. However Banks didn't compete due to a foot injury. Instead Walter would later defeat Starr to become the #1 Contender for Banks' title, which would end in a draw at No Regrets. On 2 June, Walter defeated Banks and Zack Sabre Jr. to win the Defiant Internet Championship. On 30 December 2018, Walter lost the title to Martin Kirby.
The following week Walter confronted Pete Dunne and Joe Coffey in ring. Although he did not say anything, he made his intentions for Dunne’s WWE UK Championship quite clear. On the edition of 2 February 2019 of NXT UK Walter made his in ring debut against Jack Starz. He beat Starz in under four minutes. At NXT TakeOver: New York, Walter defeated Dunne to win the United Kingdom Championship, ending Dunne's record setting reign at 685 days.
On 22 May episode of NXT UK, Walter won a rematch for the United Kingdom Championship against Dunne, after interference by the European Union (Fabian Aichner and Marcel Barthel), thus establishing himself as a heel and reuniting Ringkampf under the new name Imperium. The faction would later be joined by Alexander Wolfe, after he interfered in a match pitting Imperium against British Strong Style (the team of Dunne, Tyler Bate, and Trent Seven). On the June 26 episode of NXT UK, Walter retained his title against Travis Banks. On the July 3 episode of NXT UK, Imperium interfered in Moustache Mountain's title match against Grizzled Young Veterans therefore making Grizzled Young Veterans retain their titles. After the match, they injured Tyler Bate. On August 31 at NXT UK TakeOver: Cardiff, Walter retained his title against Tyler Bate.
Imperium appeared on the 18 September episode of NXT (the show's debut on the USA Network) where they attacked Performance Center recruit Denzel Dejournette. Walter cut a promo before the group was confronted by Kushida. Later that night, Imperium got involved in a backstage brawl during the Street Fight main event between Matt Riddle and Killian Dain which ended up at ringside.
Championships and accomplishments
- Defiant Wrestling
- Defiant Internet Championship (1 time)
- European Wrestling Promotion
- EWP Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Michael Kovac
- Fight Club: PRO
- Infinity Trophy (1 time, current)
- German Stampede Wrestling
- GSW Tag Team Championship (1 time) – with Robert Dreissker
- Over The Top Wrestling
- OTT Championship (1 time)
- Progress Wrestling
- Pro Wrestling Fighters
- PWF North-European Championship (1 time)
- Pro Wrestling Guerrilla
- Pro Wrestling Illustrated
- Westside Xtreme Wrestling
- wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship (3 times)
- wXw World Tag Team Championship (4 times) – with Ilja Dragunov (1), Robert Dreissker (1), Timothy Thatcher (1), and Zack Sabre Jr. (1)
- 16 Carat Gold Tournament (2010)
- wXw World Tag Team Tournament (2015) – with Zack Sabre Jr.
- World Tag Team League (2017) – with Timothy Thatcher
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter
- WWE United Kingdom Championship (1 time, current)
- "WALTER: Profile & Match Listing - Internet Wrestling Database (IWD)".
- "wXw". wXw - more than Wrestling. Retrieved 5 April 2019.
- "wXw (Germany) - Westside Xtreme Wrestling". Wxw-wrestling.com. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
- "Big Van Walter vs. Daisuke Sekimoto from wXw's Back to the Roots X 2011". FreeProWrestling.com. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
- "wXw Dead End XII". Westside Xtreme Wrestling (in German). Retrieved 27 July 2012.
- 大日本プロレス「Ｅｎｄｌｅｓｓ Ｓｕｒｖｉｖｏｒ」横浜文化体育館大会. Sports Navi (in Japanese). Yahoo!. 5 May 2012. Archived from the original on 2 November 2014. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
- 佐々木義人が初代ストロング王者に. Daily Sports Online (in Japanese). Kobe Shimbun. 6 May 2012. Retrieved 20 January 2014.
- Kreikenbohm, Philip. "wXw Back To The Roots XIV". Cagematch.net.
- Kreikenbohm, Philip. "wXw 13th Anniversary Tour: Hamburg « Events Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". www.cagematch.net. Retrieved 9 May 2017.
- "wXw World Tag Team League 2017 Night 3". Westside Xtreme Wrestling (in German). Retrieved 8 October 2017.
- Staff, F4W. "WXW 16 CARAT GOLD NIGHT TWO RESULTS: WORLD TITLE MATCH SURPRISE". F4wonline. Wrestling Observer Newslleter.
- "Trainer - Wrestling Academy - Die Wrestling Schule in Deutschland".
- "RADICAN'S Progress Wrestling: Chapter 19: SSS16: Day 1 report 5/24: Sabre-Gibson, Strong-End, Riots-Regression". pwtorch.com.
- "Natural PROGRESSion: PROGRESS Chapter 23: What A Time To Be Alive!". 411 Mania.
- "RADICAN'S Progress Ch. 30 "SSS16 Finals" Review – Hero vs. End blows everyone away, Overall Reax". pwtorch.com.
- "RADICAN'S REVIEW – Progress 30 "Super Strong Style Day 1" – Hero, Tommy End, Callihan, PROGRESS Tag Title main event; Overall Review". pwtorch.com.
- Boon, Alan (27 April 2017). "The Week In British Wrestling: The reign of BSS continues". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
- Bentley, Martin (24 April 2017). "Tyler Bate, Mark Andrews, Pete Dunne, Timothy Thatcher & more: 4/23 Progress Wrestling Chapter 47: Complicated Simplicity report". Pro Wrestling Insider. Retrieved 22 September 2017.
- "7/9 Progress Chapter 51 "Screaming For Progress" results: Gutteridge's report on "British Strong Style" Pete Dunne, Tyler Bate and Trent Seven vs. CCK, Matt Riddle vs. Walter for the Atlas Title, War Machine vs. London Riots, and Jimmy Havoc vs. Jigsaw". Prowrestling.net.
- "Progress-Evolve NYC results: Matt Riddle, Keith Lee, TK Cooper injured". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
- Staff, F4W. "PROGRESS CHAPTER 55 RESULTS: PETE DUNNE VS. TRAVIS BANKS". F4Wonline. Wrestling Newsletter Observer.
- Solowrestling (5 May 2019). "Resultados de PROGRESS Super Strong Style 16 (Día 2)". solowrestling.mundodeportivo.com.
- "Csonka's Evolve 90 Review 8.11.17". 411 Mania.
- "Csonka's Evolve 91 Review 8.12.17". 411 Mania.
- "12/9 Evolve 96 results: Keith Lee vs. Walter for the WWN Title, Matt Riddle vs. Fred Yehi, DJZ vs. Zack Sabre Jr., Darby Allin vs. Austin Theory, Catch Point vs. Anthony Henry and James Drake for the Evolve Tag Titles". Prowrestling.net.
- Meltzer, Dave (3 September 2017). "PWG BOLA night two results: The Elite vs. Penta 0M, Rey Fenix & Flamita". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved 3 September 2017.
- Kreikenbohm, Philip. "PWG All Star Weekend 13 - Tag 1". Cagematch.net.
- Meltzer, Dave (26 December 2017). "Dave Meltzer's top-rated matches of 2017: Walter vs. Zack Sabre Jr". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
- Raimondi, Marc (21 April 2018). "Full spoilers from PWG All-Star Weekend, Night 2". Cageside Seats.
- "Defiant Lights Out 2018". Cagematch.net.
- "Defiant Wrestling - WALTER To Debut In Defiant At Lights Out '18". WeAreDefiant.
- "Defiant No Regrets 2018". Cagematch.
- "Meet WALTER, the Austrian bruiser eyeing Pete Dunne's WWE U.K. Title". WWE. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
- "WALTER goes to war with Gallus' Mark Coffey in this week's NXT UK highlights: NXT UK, Feb. 6, 2019". WWE. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
- "WALTER debuted with a dominant victory over Jack Starz". WWE. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
- Powell, Jason. "4/5 Powell's NXT Takeover: New York live review – Johnny Gargano vs. Adam Cole in a best of three falls match for the vacant NXT Championship, Pete Dunne vs. Walter for the WWE UK Championship, Velveteen Dream vs. Matt Riddle for the NXT North American Title, NXT Women's Title four-way, NXT Tag Title match". Pro Wrestling Dot Net. Retrieved 5 April 2019.
- "WWE NXT UK: May 22, 2019". WWE. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
- "New NXT UK Faction Debuts Featuring WWE Main Roster Star". WhatCulture. Retrieved 1 June 2019.
- "FCP Big Strong Bois « Events Database « CAGEMATCH - The Internet Wrestling Database". www.cagematch.net.
- "Pro Wrestling Illustrated (PWI) 500 for 2018". cagematch.net. Retrieved 29 September 2018.
- Stoughton, Derek (22 March 2019). "2018 Wrestling Observer Newsletter Awards Revealed". Wrestling Rumors. Retrieved 23 March 2019.
- "BONUS SHOW: Wrestling Observer Newsletter Awards". Post Wrestling. 17 March 2019. Retrieved 23 March 2019.
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