What's the story?
Ilja Dragunov's 2019 has seen the top Russian star and mainstay of WWE affiliated German promotion wXw Wrestling pulling out of a number of independent booking dates, which usually only means one thing - he's about to join WWE.
But my sources suggest he might have already done so.
In case you didn't know...
Dragunov is one of the bigger independent stars out there following his return to wXw last year that saw the venue absolutely explode when he was revealed as returning. Check out the video.
We also know that WWE had a European tryout around November last year and that Ilja Dragunov was one of the attendees of that tryout. There's even a video of his attendance floating around,
The heart of the matter
Dragunov was scheduled to appear for Pro Wrestling Chaos in Bristol, UK on January 12th, but had to pull out because of 'other commitments'. However, he didn't wrestle anywhere else on that day.
Instead, we are told that he was backstage at Blackpool for NXT UK: TakeOver where it is alleged he signed an NXT UK deal.
He has subsequently had to pull out of dates for UK based promotion Defiant Wrestling, as detailed on their Twitter account.
It's important to note that Dragunov isn't just pulling out of one date for Defiant here, but several and Defiant are being forced to remove a segment from their show that features Dragunov that has already been taped but is yet to air.
That should tell you everything you need to know. But if you don't believe me, then listen to Casey Michael from Squared Circle Sirens who has been accurate about WWE signings in the past.
NXT UK is quickly becoming a show with an incredible roster following the surprise inclusion of Walter at its first TakeOver show as well as the likes of Pete Dunne, Toni Storm and Moustache Mountain.
Are you excited for Unbeseige Bar at WWE NXT UK? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below