Ilja Dragunov is a hidden gem on the WWE roster


Ilja Dragunov continues to put together a great resume whenever he gets the time on WWE NXT. 

WWE has several top prospects on the roster, with multiple names that could immediately break through to the top. There is one in WWE NXT that continues to put on a show whenever he’s given the opportunity. Ilja Dragunov is a hidden gem on the WWE roster and continues to steal the show whenever he’s given a chance to stand in the spotlight.

Sheamus has a saying that he’s rightfully earned. The idea is that he puts on “banger, after banger, after banger….” Quite the statement from the multiple-time WWE Champion and a man who is enjoying a career resurgence. But Dragunov could take that exact quote and no one would put up an argument. Just look at what he’s done in recent years. His matches against men like GUNTHER, Dijak, the five-way against Axiom, Dragon Lee, JD McDonagh, and Wes Lee, plus the match against Bron Breakker on the July 11 edition of WWE NXT – Dragunov’s list of hits continues to grow.

It’s hard to see just how far Dragunov will go as a part of the WWE roster. He could be the man to rise to the occasion and defeat Carmelo Hayes to become NXT Champion. That’s a story that no one would be upset if the promotion decides to tell. He’s a former NXT United Kingdom Champion and was only forced to relinquish that championship due to injury. Seeing him atop this iteration of NXT would be a testament to what he’s done just three years into his tenure with WWE.

But what would a Dragunov run on the main roster look like? There are several matches that would elicit immediate excitement. Think about Dragunov against the likes of Sheamus, Drew McIntyre, Seth Rollins, AJ Styles, Ricochet, Shinsuke Nakamura, and perhaps rematches with Finn Balor and GUNTHER. All of those could easily become contenders for a match of the year vote. The challenge is where Dragunov would be utilized as a character. Sadly, this correlates directly to the overwhelming presence of Vince McMahon whose creative changes continue to plague the roster.

There are a lot of great wrestlers that deserve praise for what they are contributing in the ring. While fans will name several of the top stars as their favorites or best in the game today, Ilja Dragunov deserves more praise for what he continues to do each time he’s in front of the camera in WWE NXT. He’s only 29 years old. With the right booking, he could become another pillar for the company to build around in the future.

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