Ilja Dragunov has been one of the most dominant forces in WWE’s NXT UK brand. He has been the reigning NXT UK Champion since defeating WALTER (Now known as Gunther) at NXT Takeover 36 last Summer. That monumental championship run has come to an unceremonious end.

According to F4WOnline, Ilja Dragunov was forced to relinquish the championship at the latest NXT UK TV tapings. Dragunov appeared with his foot in a protective boot. Due to his injury, he announced that the title would be vacated.

An eight-man tournament will be held to crown a new NXT UK Champion. Dragunov boasted successful title defenses against A-Kid, Jordan Devlin, Rampage Brown, Roderick Strong, and Nathan Frazer along the way. Now, a new king of WWE’s UK imprint will be crowned.

Last month, a title bout between Dragunov and Wolfgang was filmed. It has not yet aired. That will likely be Ilja Dragunov’s final televised championship defense.


The NXT UK Championship has only been held by four wrestlers. Tyler Bate, Pete Dunne, and WALTER join Dragunov as a select group to have held the gold. It remains to be seen who will compete in the tournament to crown a new champion.

Ilja Dragunov signed with WWE back in early 2019. He quickly became known as one of the hardest-hitting performers on the NXT UK brand. While his title reign was cut short, it was one of the more impressive runs in the brief history of NXT UK.

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Michael Perry

Michael Perry is a news contributor for Ringside News and Thirsty for News. Michael has an M.A. in Communication Technology from Point Park University in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA.

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