Tonight’s WWE NXT saw a welcome return to the ring during the match between JD McDonagh and Carmelo Hayes. Late in their match, McDonagh attempted to take down Hayes from the top contender’s spot, but then Ilja Dragunov’s music hit. McDonagh was surprised by the return and the distraction gave Hayes the perfect time to grab the pin and win, and soon McDonagh was booking it out of the ring and through the crowd as Dragunov gave chase. You can watch his return in the video below.
Once McDonagh saw Dragunov, he was shocked, and after his loss, he flew high tailed out of the ring and over the barricade. Dragunov chased him and geared up for a finisher, but also had to jump the barricade and chase McDonagh through the crowd, and the two seemingly continued into the arena.
ILYA DRAGUNOV IS BACK!!!@UNBESIEGBAR_ZAR #WWENXT pic.twitter.com/XOXJoBLgum
— WWE (@WWE) February 8, 2023
Dragunov has not been in action since last October and it was McDonagh who was responsible (in kayfabe, of course). Dragunov was previously involved in the NXT Championship Triple Threat match at Halloween Havoc between Bron Breakker and McDonagh, a match that Breakker would eventually win. Next, Dragunov would face McDonagh one on one on the next NXT.
That’s when he was locked in body scissors by McDonagh, passing out, and eventually he was carried out of the ring due to internal bleeding. McDonagh then took a few shots at the former NXT UK champion, so you just knew he’d have a target on his back once Dragunov was back to 100%. Now that time has come and they will probably meet soon.
A number of NXT UK stars have come to NXT, including McDonagh, Isla Dawn, Lyra Valkyria, Pretty Deadly and Gallus, who recently became the new NXT Tag Team Champions. Former NXT UK Women’s Champion Meiko Satomura also dropped by for a big Triple Threat match and now she’ll return next week to team up with Roxanne Perez, and we’ll have to wait and see if that means she’ll be seen more in the future .
What do you want to see from Dragunov moving forward in NXT? Let us know in the comments or as always you can talk to me about all things wrestling with me on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!
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