WALTER Reaches Big Milestone As NXT UK Champion
Photo Credit: Powerslam TV
In a time not too long ago, CM Punk was credited as the longest-reigning WWE Champion in modern times with a run of 434 days. In a promo in Tampa he eloquently (and heelishly) spoke out against the word Modern in that description saying that he could have been champion for a decade working the same schedule as Bruno Sammartino.
Punk’s long time as WWE Champion pales in comparison to several holders of a newer title, the NXT UK Championship. Current champion WALTER has just surpassed 600 days with the gold, and he’s the second man to do so out of three champions total. After an initial title run of 100 or so days for Tyler Bate at the initial United Kingdom Championship Tournament in 2017, the recently returned Brusierweight Pete Dunne grabbed the belt at the first TakeOver Chicago and held onto it for 685 days himself.
— WWE UK (@WWEUK) November 26, 2020
Both long title reigns have partially been due to circumstance, with Dunne holding onto the title during the extended delay of the NXT UK weekly program and WALTER holding the gold during a global pandemic that put NXT UK on ice. However, neither man felt like a paper champion. Instead, both champions exuded dominance wherever they stood holding one of the most ornate titles in all of World Wrestling Entertainment. (We’ll just ignore WALTER’s unfortunate showing at Survivor Series 2019 because we all really should do that as a people.)
In typical WWE fashion, the company has stumbled into something they really should fight to preserve. Because of the long title reigns of both Pete Dunne and now WALTER, the NXT UK Championship has a prestige that a lot of other top titles lack, and a lineage that looks like a world title of old rather than a title in the era of crowded main event scenes, hotshot belt exchanges, and tag titles that can just be swapped on a whim. Let’s try to keep it that way lads.