Why WWE's Ilja Dragunov Says The Wrestling Industry Is Needlessly Competitive

Ilja Dragunov thinks that professional wrestlers have lost the plot when it comes to the business of entertaining fans. "This business is — I don't know how to say it — it is competitive for no reason sometimes," Dragunov told "Out Of Character," "and there's a lot of pressure for no reason sometimes because ... I don't feel like I'm in a competition with what I'm doing because it's not like you really can get 'better' than anyone. It's really about dig deep and find something inside yourself." Dragunov believes that the vital thing for wrestlers to focus on is what they do better than anyone else and what makes them different.


"I put all my strengths into that," Dragunov explained, "not thinking about what anybody else has to offer." The former "NXT UK" Champion says that no one is perfect and that ultimately audiences don't expect perfection, they expect naturalism. "I think what I have, if I make it shine ... is what will elevate me."

Dragunov believes that a serious amount of tough, lonely work that doesn't always show results immediately is required for success in professional wrestling. He spends a long time thinking things through before applying them in the ring, saying the ability to sit and think is underrated in the business. Dragunov recently came up short against "WWE NXT" Champion Carmelo Hayes at the Great American Bash, but was able to gain a modicum of revenge by getting a win over Hayes's friend and henchman Trick Williams at Heatwave.