WWE NXT Star Ilja Dragunov Returns from Injury

Tonight’s WWE NXT featured a welcome return to the ring during the match between JD McDonagh and Carmelo Hayes. Late in their match, McDonagh was attempting to knock Hayes down from the top contender’s spot, but then Ilja Dragunov’s music hit. McDonagh was surprised by the return and the distraction gave Hayes the perfect moment to get the pin and the win, and soon McDonagh was booking it out of the ring and through the crowd as Dragunov gave chase. You can watch his return in the video below.

Once McDonagh saw Dragunov he was shaken up, and after his loss, he high-tailed it out of the ring and over the barricade. Dragunov was chasing him and set up for a finisher but had to jump the barricade as well and chase McDonagh through the crowd, and the two seemingly headed further into the arena.

Dragunov hasn’t been in action since October of last year, and it was McDonagh who was responsible (in kayfabe of course). Dragunov was previously involved in the NXT Championship Triple Threat match at Halloween Havoc between Bron Breakker and McDonagh, a match Breakker would ultimately win. Then on the following NXT Dragunov would face McDonagh one on one.

That’s when he was locked in a body scissors by McDonagh, passing out in the process, and he was eventually stretchered from the ring because of internal bleeding. McDonagh then took a few shots at the former NXT UK Champion, so you just knew that he would have a target on his back once Dragunov was back to 100%. Now that time has come, and they will likely face each other soon.

A number of NXT UK stars have come over to NXT, including McDonagh, Isla Dawn, Lyra Valkyria, Pretty Deadly, and Gallus, who recently became the new NXT Tag Team Champions. Former NXT UK Women’s Champion Meiko Satomura also came over for a big Triple Threat match and now she will be returning to team up with Roxanne Perez next week, and we’ll have to wait and see if that means she will be featured more moving forward.


What do you want to see from Dragunov moving forward in NXT? Let us know in the comments or as always you can talk all things wrestling with me on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!