2024 WWE Draft Officially Announced As NXT Champion Ilja Dragunov Makes Raw Debut

The "WWE Raw" after WrestleMania has historically been a time for huge announcements and landscape-shifting appearances. Monday night, both were true, as the WWE Draft was announced and "NXT" Champion Ilja Dragunov made his "Raw" debut, taking on Shinsuke Nakamura in a non-title singles contest.


As both men made their way to the ring, Michael Cole announced that the WWE Draft would begin on the April 26, 2024 episode of "WWE SmackDown" and conclude on the following episode of "Raw" on April 29, 2024. Cole also announced that Dragunov would be participating in the draft, implying a main-roster call-up for "The Czar of NXT."

Dragunov made an impeccable first impression on his first main roster appearance. Nakamura attempted many of his vintage tricks, including a sliding German Suplex that left Dragunov's head spinning. However, Nakamura could not stop the walls from closing in on him, and an H-Bomb followed by a Torpedo Moscow earned the "NXT" Champion a pinfall victory to open up the post-WrestleMania episode of "Raw".


Dragunov is one of the hottest "NXT" stars available for a main roster call-up come April 26 and 29. He was most recently seen in a successful title defense against Tony D'Angelo at Stand and Deliver 2024. Dragunov is best known for his work in "NXT UK," where he defeated GUNTHER (then known as WALTER) to end his 869 day reign as the "NXT" UK Champion.