Imperium is a professional wrestling stable, currently active on WWE NXT & NXT UK. Currently, there are three members- Gunther(WALTER), Marcel Barthel(Ludwig Kaiser) and Fabian Aichner(Giovanni Vinci). Alexander Wolfe was part of the group during its run in NXT UK. The group has been earlier active in Germany’s WXW and Progress Wrestling. Timothy Thatcher has also been a member of the group in previous wrestling promotions.
Imperium’s motto is “The Mat is Sacred” which was taken from German slang: “Die Matte ist heilig.” This slang was used by Imperium’s previous incarnations in other wrestling promotions.
The slang represents that all they care about is wrestling. They adhere to the rules and the sportsmanship of wrestling because it is sacred to do so. On top of it, they also believe and often show they are superior to everyone at wrestling because they believe the mat to be sacred while their opponents do not. (Credits to the Reddit user for the complete explanation).
WALTER used to be currently the head trainer at Westside Xtreme Wrestling and passed on this motto to each and every one of his trainees there.
Imperium Entrance Theme
Both Imperium and WALTER, when he makes his entrance alone, use the Dvorak Symphony No. 9, IV music in every wrestling promotions so far. You can check the WALTER’s WWE theme in above video.
|Watler/Gunther||27 August 2016||–||Leader|
|Marcel Barthel/Ludwig Kaiser||23 September 2016||–||Current Member|
|Fabian Aichner/Giovanni Vinci||23 May 2019||–||Current Member|
|Alexander Wolfe/Axel Tischer||12 June 2019||18 May 2021||Former Member|
|Timothy Thatcher||27 August 2016||22 December 2018||Former Member|
|Christian Michael Jakobi||4 August 2016||22 December 2018||Former Member|
Imperium in Westside Xtreme Wrestling
WALTER, Timothy Thatcher and Fabian Archer(known as Axel Dieter Jr. at the time) started the stable in Westside Xtreme Wrestling in 2016 with the name Ringkampf- a german word which translates to “wrestling match.” WALTER & Thatcher went on to become the WXW Tag Team Champions in 2017 before the group moved onto Progress Wrestling.
Imperium in Progress Wrestling
In Progress Wrestling, Ringkampf had a rivalry with British Strong Style(Pete Dunne, Trent Seven and Tyler Bate) over Progress World Championship and Tag Team Championship. WALER later had a rivalry with Matt Riddle over Atlas Title. During this rivalry, Thatcher, WALTER and Matt Riddle were involved in a triple threat match at Progress Chapter 55 which saw WALTER winning the title. In January, WALTER defended the Atlas title against Thatcher at Progress Chapter 68.
Imperium in NXT & NXT UK
WALTER debuted with NXT UK at TakeOver: Blackpool 2019 and confronted WWE UK Champion Pete Dunne to start a feud. WALTER defeated Dunne at NXT TakeOver: New York 2019 to become WWE UK Champion. Fabian Archer and Marcel Barthel then helped WALER retain the title against Dunne in a rematch.
This also resumed a rivalry between British Strong Style and Imperium from their days in Progress Wrestling. Alexander Wolfe then joined the group after he helped Imperium win at tag team match against British Strong Style.
WALTER is the reigning WWE UK Champion(renamed to NXT UK Championship). The group has also appeared in NXT’s US TV programming from time to time. Fabian Archer and Marcel Barthel also later won the NXT Tag Team Championship in May 2020 from Matt Riddle and Timothy Thatcher. Imperium also had a feud with NXT’s Undisputed ERA in the build-up to NXT vs NXT UK: Worlds Collide 2020.
Barthel and Aichner won the NXT Tag Team Championship by defeating Matt Riddle and Timothy Thatcher in May 2020. They held on to the title until August 2020. Alexander Wolfe was kicked out of the group in May 2021 after a loss to Killian Dane. Walter lost the NXT UK title to Ilja Dragunov at NXT TakeOver 36 in August 2021, after which he started appearing on NXT.
Aichner and Barthel won the tag titles once again at Halloween Havoc and held onto them until NXT Stand and Deliver event in April 2022. Walter, now named Gunther, debuted on SmackDown in April 2022 along with Ludwig Kaiser(Barthel). He became the Intercontinental Champion in June 2022 by defeating Ricochet. Giovanni Vinci(Aichner) later joined them at Clash at the Castle event.
Imperium Titles History & accomplishments
- WWE Intercontinental Championship – GUNTHER(1 time)
- WWE/NXT UK Championship – Walter(1 time)
- WWE NXT Tag Team Championship – Fabian Archer & Marcel Barthel(2 times)
- Great Bear Promotions
- Great Bear Grand Championship Dieter Jr. (1 time)
- Pro Wrestling Guerrilla
- PWG World Championship Walter (1 time)
- Over The Top Wrestling
- OTT Championship – Walter (1 time)
- Westside Xtreme Wrestling
- wXw World Tag Team Championship Walter and Thatcher (1 time)
- wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship – Dieter Jr. (1 time)
- World Tag Team League (2017) – Thatcher & Walter
- wXw Shotgun Championship Wolfe (1 time)
- Progress Wrestling
- Progress Atlas Championship – Walter (2 times)
- Progress World Championship – Walter (1 time)
- Wrestling Observer Newsletter
- Europe MVP (2018, 2019) – Walter