NXT Champion Ilja Dragunov's Grim Warning For Carmelo Hayes Ahead Of Halloween Havoc

The rivalry between "WWE NXT" Champion Ilja Dragunov and former champion Carmelo Hayes is heating up once again. Last night on "WWE NXT," the company announced six matches for the annual Halloween Havoc special, taking place over the next two weeks. On October 31, Dragunov will defend the "NXT" Championship against Hayes, and Dragunov shared a warning for his opponent on X late last night.

"A nightmare you won't forget for the rest of your life," Dragunov said.

The upcoming match was determined in the main event of last night's "NXT," with Hayes defeating Baron Corbin and Dijak to become the new number-one contender. The match was also supposed to include Hayes' friend Trick Williams, but Williams was mysteriously attacked before the match, coincidentally after Hayes was upset about Williams putting himself forward for the "NXT" title.

Dragunov and Hayes have a history that dates back to July, when Hayes successfully defended the "NXT" Championship against the Moscow, Russia native at WWE NXT Great American Bash. Dragunov would later go on to defeat Hayes for the title at WWE NXT No Mercy last month, and the two will now finish out the trilogy on Halloween night.

Apart from his loss against Dragunov last month and an appearance on "WWE Raw" in June, Hayes hasn't lost a singles match in 2023. During his "Raw" appearance, Hayes faced Finn Balor and suffered a defeat while still holding the "NXT" Championship.

While not holding quite as successful a record as Hayes, Dragunov has had an impressive year as well. The Russian has defeated fellow "NXT" performers such as Bron Breakker, Wes Lee, and Trick Williams thus far in 2023.