NXT Sees Shocking Return Of Former Champion

NXT Arena

A former champion has made their return to NXT television, picking up where they left off as they took the brawl to an old rival.

On the 7th of February edition of NXT television JD McDonagh went one-on-one with former North American Champion Carmelo Hayes. With the match in progress, the music of former NXT United Kingdom Champion Ilja Dragunov hit, distracting McDonagh and allowing Hayes to roll him up for the win.

Dragunov soon got his hands on JD McDonagh and the two brawled as security tried to intervene. Ilja Dragunov has not been seen since he lost to McDonagh on the 25th of October 2022 edition of NXT television via referee stoppage and clearly has revenge on his mind.

It is believed that the Russian star has been absent due to visa issues that also apparently kept the recently returned Gallus and Tyler Bate away from the white and gold brand as well.

Ilja Dragunov ended the record-setting NXT UK Championship reign of WALTER (now known as Gunther) at TakeOver 36 in August 2021. Dragunov’s title reign ended almost a year later after he had to vacate the title due to injury. That title was then won by Tyler Bate who lost a unification match against Bron Breakker at Worlds Collide in September 2022.