Ilja Dragunov is one of the best wrestlers in the world

Fans may feel a certain way about professional wrestling in WWE, but Ilja Dragunov ranks among the best in the business, regardless of promotion.
Monday Night RAW
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There’s a lot of debate about who the best wrestler is in today’s landscape. Will Ospreay and Bryan Danielson dominate those arguments, and their catalog of matches speak for themselves. But more people need to give Ilja Dragunov the time of day, because he’s continued to put together a match listing that is among some of the best in the business. Now that he’s on Monday Night Raw, more will soon recognize the greatness of The Mad Dragon. 

Dragunov’ s official tenure on the main roster started on May 6 with his first match in the King of the Ring Tournament. He had the perfect dance partner in Ricochet. Ricochet is one of those individuals that has a heavy backing from fans, and rightfully so. Everyone was excited when he joined the WWE back in 2018 and it seems like he’s finally getting the space to live up to that hype. But Dragunov pushed him to another level that elevated Ricochet’s stock in defeat. That is what makes Dragunov such an amazing performer. 

Win, lose, or draw - everyone benefits when they compete against Dragunov. Take Dijak for an example. He’s done some of his best work in NXT, but his turn around truly kicked off with that Last Man Standing Match he and Dragunov had back at NXT Battleground back in May of 2023. This was not only one of the best matches in WWE that year, but all of wrestling. And no one saw that display coming. Even GUNTHER, who has dominated WWE for years, looks back at two matches that put him on the map for the WWE Universe. Those initial entries were the two matches he had against Dragunov before either were on the main roster. That is what he brings out of his opponents and now he’s on the main roster to do it. 

Up next is Jey Uso, but most fans are already looking forward to the idea that Gunther and Dragunov could meet again in the semifinals. At some point, that is a battle that must happen for millions of fans to see on a Monday Night Raw. With the story laid down on Monday’s episode, it makes sense if Drew McIntyre costs Jey the match out of spite. Or, WWE could hold off on giving fans a match they want to see, at least for a little while longer. 

Ilja Dragunov is the type of performer that every professional wrestling promotion wants on the roster. He can do everything. He gets fans invested in his character and their purpose. He builds and delivers fantastic matches, regardless of the opponent. And everyone comes out better on the other side. And he’s only 30 years old. WWE has a gem and he deserves more consideration to be ranked among the best in the business today.