WWE NXT Star Ilja Dragunov On Previous Matches With Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER

"WWE NXT" Superstar Ilja Dragunov was a guest on the latest episode of "Busted Open Radio," where he spoke about his past matches with record-breaking Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER.

"GUNTHER, you really need a person like him to bring the best out of me," Dragunov said. "Because I'm absolutely at my best when I struggle. When I struggle, I am struggling big time, really going through suffering and pain, and I have the opportunity to just rise like a phoenix out of my ashes."

The two European stars have faced each other numerous times, even before their respective WWE careers, when they battled in Germany's Westside Xtreme Wrestling (wXw). The last time they were in the ring together was back in August 2021, when Dragunov defeated GUNTHER for the "NXT" title at "NXT" TakeOver 36 — in doing so, Dragunov ended GUNTHER's historic reign of over 800 days as the champion. In the interview, Dragunov felt that the TakeOver 36 match was when he began to made his mark in the promotion. Dragonov also spoke about GUNTHER's infamous chops, calling them, "incredible."

Dragunov defeated Wes Lee in a number one contender's match for the "NXT" Championship on Tuesday's episode of "WWE NXT," thus earning the right to face "NXT" Champion Carmelo Hayes at the next "NXT" premium live event, No Mercy, on September 30.

If you use any quotes from this article, please credit SiriusXM's Busted Open Radio with an h/t to Wrestling Inc for the transcription.