As the British government faces leadership struggles aplenty, WWE’s “NXT UK” is also about to find itself without a figurehead, as wrestling’s recent rash of injuries has crossed the Atlantic Ocean to Europe.

Inside The Ropes is reporting that “NXT UK” Champion Ilja Dragunov has had to relinquish the title due to injury. Dragunov had been champion for 319 days, after dethroning WALTER (now Gunther) on August 22nd of last year in a critically celebrated Takeover match. There is no word on the nature or severity of the injury, but Dragunov joins a myriad of other wrestlers in WWE and outside of WWE that have been struck down in recent weeks. WWE is dealing most heavily with the loss of Cody Rhodes due to a pectoral tear and Randy Orton due to a back injury. Like Dragunov on “NXT UK,” both Rhodes and Orton had been intended to be serious parts of the main event scene. Meanwhile, several major AEW stars are also on the shelf, including their top champion, CM Punk. Punk recently announced that he would be taking time away from wrestling to get surgery to repair a broken foot, leading to the creation of the AEW Interim World Championship, currently held by Jon Moxley.

According to the Inside The Ropes report, an eight-man tournament was held at the most recent “NXT UK” tapings, with Oliver Carter, Mark Coffey, Trent Seven, and his tag partner Tyler Bate all advancing from the first round. Seven and Bate were both involved in the inaugural UK Championship tournament, with Bate winning and reigning as the brand’s first champion for over 120 days. There is no word on when the new “NXT UK” Champion will be crowned. The announcement of Dragunov’s vacancy will air at a later date, also to be announced sometime in the future.

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