Walter's recordbreaking NXT United Kingdom Championship reign continues, as the Austrian wrestler defeated Tomasso Ciampa in a hard-hitting and violent match during tonight's NXT Takeover: Stand & Deliver. Ciampa pushed Walter to the limit, but could not handle a series of brutal attacks, culminating in a brutal suplex followed by one of Walter's signature chops. This continues Walter's 500+ day reign, the longest championship reign in WWE's modern era.
Walter and Ciampa's showdown was built up over the course of several months, with Walter frequently claiming that Ciampa had lost his edge after relinquishing the NXT Championship after suffering a neck injury, which required surgery to repair. Walter also brought Ciampa's family into it, claiming that Ciampa's attachment to his family made him less of a competitor. Ciampa responded to the threats and insults with a promise that he would end Walter's championship reign and regain the killer instinct that had earned him the nickname "Psycho Killer." Sure enough, Ciampa came to the ring with a new look, donning trunks for the first time in several years.
The NXT Takeover match, as many expected, was a brutal and hard-hitting affair. Walter delivered many of his signature chops to Ciampa and even damaged the announcer's deck with a brutal blow. However, Ciampa managed to injure Walter's hand at one point, robbing the NXT UK Champion of one of his biggest weapons. Ciampa used Walter's injured hand to break out of several submission holds and targeting the hand at several points. However, while this match was certainly the most vulnerable Walter has ever looked inside a WWE ring, Ciampa did not have enough to beat the dominant Walter.
The match's results raises several big questions about both Walter and Ciampa. The biggest, of course, is what's left for Ciampa in NXT. The former NXT Champion has struggled to stand out in a frequently crowded promotion, having been out of the championship scene for several months. While NXT could always return to the well of Gargano vs. Ciampa, Ciampa might have done all there is to do in NXT. Meanwhile, Walter's victory certainly raises questions as to whom could defeat the dominant champion. One possibility is Finn Balor, especially if Balor loses the NXT Championship tomorrow night.