Coming off his major win over WALTER to become NXT UK Champion, Ilja Dragunov took some time to chat with Vicente Beltrán of ViBe & Wrestling The first Russian-born champion in WWE history expressed interest in one day having a match against current WWE Champion, Bobby Lashley.
“I think Bobby Lashley would be great competition. This is something that would fit with my will, with my intensity, and this is something I think people would be very interested to see it because this is a thing of power. The obvious power of Bobby Lashley and the power of my will and my endurance.”
Dragunov and WALTER had a standout, hard-hitting match for the NXT UK Title at last month’s TakeOver 36 event. This was the second time the men clashed one-on-one in the ring, but in this instance, Dragunov came out as the victor. He was asked how the first confrontation with WALTER put him on a course for success this time around.
“The first match was a different version of Ilja Dragunov. So, it was a version of Ilja Dragunov that just relied on his intensity,” he explained. “But being this intense is like being blind running into a wall and that’s not the answer to be the best in the world like WALTER is, so I needed to be a more intelligent version of Ilja Dragunov.
“And I showed this progression on TakeOver; I had a game plan for WALTER. I knew what he was doing,” Dragunov added. “I knew how to get control over him and to make him realize that I’m not gonna fall like the last time. I already put him to his limits the last time, but this time, I put him on his limits by being intense and smart”.