Ilja Dragunov Defeats WALTER To Win NXT UK Title At TakeOver 36

The reign of WALTER is over

One month shy of 900 days, WALTER's unsinkable reign as NXT United Kingdom champion has ended.

Ilja Dragunov defeated WALTER on Sunday night at NXT TakeOver 36 in Orlando, bringing to an end one of wrestling's most indomitable title reigns.

In the end, Dragunov feverishly kept trying for sleeper holds. WALTER escaped one with a rope climb and drop, but Dragunov followed up with a series of elbow strikes. Dragunov locked the hold in again, and though WALTER fell backward to try and break it, the challenger hung on. Following a battery of crossface strikes and other blows to the head, Dragunov sunk the sleeper in once more, leading to WALTER tapping out.

WALTER's reign officially ends after 870 days. He won the championship from Pete Dunne on April 5, 2019, at TakeOver: New York.

In all, WALTER made 16 successful defenses of the championship. Among them was a victory over Dragunov last October, which WALTER won via stoppage. The match earned critical raves, including a five-star rating from Dave Meltzer.

Dragunov is the fourth NXT UK champion in the belt's near five-year lifespan, following Tyler Bate, Dunne, and WALTER.

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Justin Henry

Written by Justin Henry

In addition to writing lists and commentaries for Cultaholic, Justin is also a features writer and interviewer for Fighting Spirit Magazine, and is co-author of the WWE-related book Titan Screwed: Lost Smiles, Stunners, and Screwjobs.