Ilja Dragunov relinquishes WWE NXT UK Championship

Ilja Dragunov's reign lasted for 318 days!
Ilja Dragunov's reign lasted for 318 days!

Following recent WWE NXT UK tapings, Ilja Dragunov has relinquished the NXT UK Championship.

Ilja Dragunov became one of the hottest prospects on NXT UK. The 28-year-old has created a wide fan base down in the UK by having stellar matches against Imperium members in the past.

Dragunov won the WWE United Kingdom Championship by defeating Walter (Now known as Gunther on the main roster) at TakeOver 36. The match received a five-star rating from Dave Meltzer and became a talking point for the division. Stars such as Shawn Michaels, Drew McIntyre, and Sheamus praised both the men following their match.

According to NXT UK tapings by Inside The Ropes, it was noted that Ilja had relinquished the title. Dragunov addressed the crowd during the tapings and gave up his title. In his last defense, he defeated Jordin Devlin in a Loser Leaves NXT UK match. Devlin appeared on NXT 2.0. as JD McDonagh and attacked Bron Breakker after his match.

A tournament was announced for the vacant WWE United Kingdom Championship. Currently, the tournament is underway and Tyler Bate, Mark Coffey, Trent Seven and Oliver Carter have advanced to the semi-finals. It will be interesting to see who becomes the next NXT UK Champion.

Ilja Dragunov and Walter had 2 5-star classic in WWE

Dragunov and Walter were the top stars of their brand. The leader of Imperium was unstoppable as the NXT United Kingdom Champion after he defeated Pete Dunne( Now known as Butch) and ended his reign at TakeOver New York in 2019.

The Ring General had several challengers on the UK brand but he met his match in the form of Ilja Dragunov. The two superstars had a heated rivalry which went on for months as Dragunov started to take out the members of the stable.

DRAGUNOV WINS!DRAGUNOV WINS!DRAGUNOV WINS!The historic reign of @WalterAUT is over and we have a NEW #NXTUK Champion in @UNBESIEGBAR_ZAR!#NXTUKTitle#NXTTakeOver

In late October of 2020, the two superstars met for the first time on NXT UK, where Walter's title was on the line. The match ended when Dragunov passed out and Walter retained his title. It was the first time Dragunov got his first 5 star-classic and Walter's second.

The match impressed the WWE Universe and officials in the back. In 2021, he returned and went for the title once again. Dragunov defeated Walter and ended his reign after 870 days at TakeOver 36. Their second match also received 5 stars from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter. It will be interesting to see the state of NXT UK after Dragunov's injury.

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Edited by Jeevak Ambalgi
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