WWE has a roster loaded with talent from all over the globe. Those Superstars from outside the United States must face an extra obstacle when deciding to take the WWE plunge. It seems that the company is still waiting on a couple of those Superstars to make a decision on the matter.

Ilja Dragunov and Meiko Satomura were on top of the men’s and women’s divisions when NXT UK officially disbanded in September 2022. Prior to the shutting down of NXT UK, WWE had cleverly united the NXT UK Championships with the NXT titles. However, Dragunov and Satomura haven’t been around since October.

Ilja Dragunov never lost the NXT UK Championship. Unfortunately, Dragunov had to relinquish the prestigious title in July 2022, paving the way for Tyler Bate to win the gold and then unify it against NXT Champion Bron Breakker at Worlds Collide. 

Meiko Satomura was the NXT UK Women’s Champion, before losing the title unification bout to then-NXT Women’s Champion Mandy Rose and Blair Davenport in a triple-threat showdown at Worlds Collide.


During Thursday’s NXT conference call, Senior Vice President of Talent Development Creative, Shawn Michaels provided an update on the status of Ilja Dragunov and Meiko Satomura.

“Much like several months ago, we want them here and love having them here. A lot of it is availability, a lot of it is, as you said, visa issues. A lot of it, also, that is a big career move and life difference. Those are all things we want people to consider before they make that move. Nothing would thrill me more than to have Ilja and Meiko here on a regular basis. They are phenomenal talent. We’re thrilled about Gallus being back and Tyler (Bate) being back. As far as who is to come in the future, a lot of that is up to the talent themselves and, also, there are visa issues, but we’re waiting on a long-term commitment from some people and we understand that’s not an easy decision to make.”

Ilja Dragunov returned to NXT in September and wrestled a few matches including the Triple Threat NXT Championship match at NXT Halloween Havoc. On the other hand, Meiko Satomura has wrestled just once since NXT Worlds Collide.

There’s no word on Meiko Satomura or Ilja Dragunov’s return to NXT television. Hopefully, the two talented wrestlers will be able to make their way back to NXT sooner than later.

What’s your take on the story? Sound off in the comments!

Saptarshi Sinha

Saptarshi Sinha is a pro-wrestling enthusiast and journalist. He has been covering the industry for over five years, providing in-depth analysis and coverage of the latest events and storylines. In addition to his passion for wrestling, Saptarshi also enjoys perfumery, photography, optometry, and gaming in his free time. He is dedicated to bringing his readers the most accurate and engaging content in the world of professional wrestling.

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