WWE star Ilja Dragunov forced to vacate NXT UK Championship due to injury

Ilja Dragunov has been forced to relinquish the gold (Picture: WWE)

has been rocked by another injury with Ilja Dragunov forced to relinquish his NXT United Kingdom Championship.

The likes ofand are out of action on Raw, while is reeling with the likes of Bryan Danielson and Santana on the injury list, and now the Russian star can be added to injury list.

Metro.co.uk can confirm that at Wednesday night’s taping, Ilja – who , then known as WALTER, back in August 2021 thus ending his 870-day reign – had to vacate the title.

He appeared in the ring at this week’s tapings on crutches and revealed the devastating news, which ends a lengthy run which saw him defended the title against the likes of Roderick Strong, A-Kid, Rampage Brown and Nathan Frazer.

Ilja’s most recent defence back in April saw him overcoming Jordan Delvin in a championship match with the added stipulation that the loser must leave NXT UK.

Since that match, Devlin has moved to the US and debuted in the stateside version of NXT as JD McDonagh, and he made a statement this week as he targeted NXT Champion Bron Breakker.

Ilja Dragunov won the NXT United Kingdom Championship at NXT TakeOver 36 (Picture: WWE)

With Ilja out of action, the company will address the plans to crown a new champion in the coming weeks on NXT UK television.

Fans have already started coming up with their own dream scenarios for the title, with some interesting ideas being thrown around.

Plenty of people on social media are hoping former Moustache Mountain teammates turned bitter rivals Trent Seven and Tyler Bate will somehow end up facing each other for the vacant championship.

One man who would be more than happy to see something like that is Butch – formerly known as Pete Dunne during his time in NXT UK and NXT – who knows both men well from their time together in British Strong Style.

With the huge stadium show coming to Wales, should have ‘some involvement’ in the festivities.

‘I feel like NXT UK has gone so far under the radar the last couple of years. The quality of work that’s being put out is unbelievable,’ he exclusively told Metro.co.uk.

‘You saw the stuff that WALTER and Ilja did, but top to bottom those shows are unbelievable in terms of pro wrestling.’

WWE NXT UK airs Thursdays at 8pm (WWE Network) and Fridays at 10pm (BT Sport 1).


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