Gunther and the former Marcel Barthel debut on Smackdown

Apr 8, 2022 - by Marc Middleton

Imperium’s Gunther (fka WALTER) and Ludwig Kaiser (fka Marcel Barthel) have officially arrived to WWE SmackDown from WWE NXT.

Tonight’s post-WrestleMania 38 edition of SmackDown on FOX saw ring announcer Samantha Irvin introduce Kaiser on the stage, where he was standing under the Imperium spotlight. He gave Gunther a grand introduction, billing him as The Ring General. Gunther and Kaiser then marched to the ring, wearing their bright red and black gear, as Michael Cole hyped the former NXT UK Champion up.

SmackDown then went to a commercial break but came back to Gunther destroying indie talent Joe Alonzo in singles action while Kaiser watched from ringside.

Alonzo took a loss to Veer Mahaan on WWE Main Event last month, and worked five AEW Dark matches in 2020.

There’s no word yet on if they will be using the Imperium name on the blue brand, but it looks like they are not.

Fabian Aichner did not appear on SmackDown with Gunther and Ludwig tonight, and he is expected to stay on the NXT brand. This week’s NXT 2.0 episode saw Aichner walk out on Kaiser during a match against The Creed Brothers.

Gunther had been feuding with LA Knight in NXT. Saturday’s NXT Stand & Deliver event saw Gunther defeat Knight, while Ludwig and Aichner dropped the NXT Tag Team Titles to MSK that same night. Gunther faced NXT Champion Bron Breakker in the main event of Tuesday’s show, but came up short.

Gunther debuted with WWE in January 2019, and he is a one-time NXT UK Champion, holding the title for a record 870 days. Kaiser has been with WWE since June 2017, and is a two-time NXT Tag Team Champion. Kaiser has worked two main roster matches before tonight – an eight-man tag team match that saw Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens and The Street Profits defeat Imperium on the November 8, 2019 RAW, and the Tag Team Battle Royale at the 2019 Survivor Series event. Gunther wrestled Seth Rollins on that same November 8, 2019 RAW, and competed in a 5 vs. 5 vs. 5 Traditional Survivor Series match at the 2019 event. He also worked several main roster live events back in November of last year.

Stay tuned for more on Gunther and Ludwig. Below are several shots from tonight’s debut at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee:

3 Responses

  1. Chatty One says:

    Well at least those two made it together and hopefully get a storyline. Sorry Wolfe/Tischer, Thatcher nor Aichner could be there to join them.

    But I also better not hear Uncle Dave and Little Alvie talk about people not questioning others stories given their late breaking change news clearly appeared to be pretty made up. The original report was clearly accurate. If they’d kept their mouths shut, maybe they’d have learned something.

  2. Pisto75666 says:

    Well I USED to like this team. Changing Walter’s name was bad enough but Ludwig Kaiser? seriously? I give up.

  3. dooman says:

    is that WALTER’s lil brother?? or is that the wrong gimmick

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