WWE NXT Champ Trick Williams Looks Back On Series Of Matches With Ilja Dragunov

The fourth time was the charm for Trick Williams last week as he finally clinched a win over "The Mad Dragon" Ilja Dragunov after three previously unsuccessful attempts. This moment of triumph was made even sweeter as Williams' victory also solidified him as the brand-new WWE NXT Champion. On a recent episode of "WWE's The Bump," Williams reflected on this satisfying victory over Dragunov and the series of faceoffs that preceded it.


"Me and Ilja went to war four times, and I credit Ilja Dragunov as the opponent who's taken my career to the next level on multiple occasions," Williams said. "The first time we had a match, it was probably around two years ago. That was the first time I think I was accepted as a true performer here, [and] knew that I belonged in this business. Second time after that was Heatwave. We went to war and everybody saw that like, 'Oh, Trick Williams, he's the real deal.' The last time was Vengeance Day and when [Carmelo Hayes] turned on me, but another banger. So for me to finally get the win over Ilja Dragunov the fourth one, no doubt about it, that's my brother. I love Ilja Dragunov." 

As Williams pointed out, the televised tetralogy of matches between him and Dragunov began over a year ago when the two squared off on the February 21, 2023 episode of "NXT." Following that battle, Williams and Dragunov collided again at the 2023 "NXT" Heatwave special, and later, at the 2024 "NXT" Vengeance Day premium live event. The final showdown, of course, took place on the aforementioned April 23 episode of "NXT."


If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit "WWE's The Bump" with a h/t to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.