Walter versus Ilja Dragunov will steal the show at NXT TakeOver 36

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The next edition of WWE NXT TakeOver is scheduled for August 22 from the Capitol Wrestling Center in Orlando, Florida. One of the big matches set for the evening is a rematch between Walter and Ilja Dragunov for the NXT United Kingdom Championship. Based on their first match from 2020, the hype around the contest is palpable and these two men have the potential to steal the show while putting on one of the best matches in the industry.

For a reminder of what Walter and Dragunov can do, go back to their match from October of last year. For twenty-five minutes these two men pummeled each other in a way that is rarely seen on WWE television. In many ways, it seemed like the only reason they got away with this level of violence is because NXT UK is hidden away on the WWE Network and there’s no way upper management caught wind of what was going on.

It was a brutal match, but fans knew that this wasn’t the last time they’d see the two individuals compete against one another for that title. The right steps were taken afterward, as the two men went off to face other challengers – breaking the WWE trend of incessant rematches. But now, here they are, standing in front of each other once again.

There’s no telling how this match will be similar or different to what we saw back in October. With it being on a mainline TakeOver, one must wonder if they can be as violent as they were back on NXT UK. But at the same time, with a bigger spotlight, there’s an opportunity for everyone involved to want to raise the bar of the product. There’s a lot of opportunities for this match to steal the show and be one of the best showcases on WWE television this year.

Many fans of Walter are still disgruntled about the way he was treated back at Survivor Series in 2019 where he was eliminated in less than three minutes. He’s the type of performer that immediately elevates anyone sharing the ring with him, but the unfortunate perception of who is a star and who isn’t reigns supreme in the WWE. Walter bucks that trend and this is an opportunity to remind the WWE fans of that fact. Plus, with Karrion Kross’s eventual callup to the main roster, imagine a situation in which Walter stays put in NXT and focuses on the NXT Championship instead. The opportunity is right there for the taking.

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Walter versus Ilja Dragunov is the perfect match to draw in a particular type of wrestling fan that may not be happy with the current WWE product. Their battle in 2020 was highly praised across wrestling and with more eyeballs on this version of the product they can remind everyone just how great they are while stealing the entire show.