Ilja Dragunov Returns To WWE NXT

Ilja Dragunov back in WWE NXT

After a few months away, Ilja Dragunov returned to WWE NXT on the February 6 edition of the developmental brand. 

Dragunov made his return during JD McDonagh's match with Carmelo Hayes, with Dragunov's music playing inside of the arena first. This distracted McDonagh, allowing Hayes to roll him up for the 1-2-3. Dragunov then entered the Performance Center to spark a brawl between himself and the former Jordan Devlin. Security eventually pulled the two talents apart to end the segment. 

Tuesday was Dragunov's first appearance on WWE TV since October 2022 when he lost to McDonagh by referee stoppage. The former NXT UK Champion had two short runs in NXT in the second half of 2022 after NXT UK was shuttered, challenging for the NXT Championship at Halloween Havoc. 

Other former NXT UK talents like Tyler Bate and Gallus have become regulars on NXT in recent months. Shawn Michaels addressed Dragunov's prior absence from NXT at Vengeance Day, noting in a media call that some former NXT UK wrestlers were dealing with visa issues or deciding whether they wanted to make a long-term commitment to WWE. 

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Aidan Gibbons

Written by Aidan Gibbons

Editor-in-Chief of Cultaholic.com Twitter: @theaidangibbons