Ilja Dragunov has climbed to the top of NXT.
Ilja Dragunov had met Hayes before for the title at The Great American Bash but failed to capture gold on that occasion. Something Dragunov blamed on Hayes’ long-time associate Trick Williams. Williams has since gone his own way focusing on his own career but Hayes may have wished he was still by his side in Bakersfield, CA.
Dragunov nailed Hayes with a super H-Bomb from the top rope to pick up the victory after a hard-hitting clash to claim his first title on the US NXT brand. After the bout, Dragunov helped Hayes to his feet and the two men embraced.
Ilja Dragunov era begins in NXT
Dragunov had previously been NXT United Kingdom Champion during his time on that brand ending the record reign on WALTER – now better known as GUNTHER – who had held the title for 870 days. Ilja Dragunov was forced to relinquish that title due to injury before it was unified with the NXT Title that he now holds.
As for Carmelo Hayes, he was seen with his friend Trick Williams after his loss and briefly appeared to have his eyes on Williams’ newly won North American Title hinting that a fallout between the two could be in their very near future.