NXT TakeOver 36 preview: WALTER vs. Ilja Dragunov II
Chop after chop after ear-piercing, cringe-inducing chop.
WALTER’s signature and downright savage strikes decimated Ilja Dragunov during their first encounter for the NXT UK Championship, but the physical toll was nothing compared to what the brutal beating did to Dragunov’s psyche.
In the aftermath of coming within an eyelash of unseating WALTER – who has now held the title for more than two years – Dragunov was a changed man.
The already unhinged competitor lost all ability to control his emotions, often snapping in the middle of his matches, continuing to brutalize opponents after the bell and even becoming aggressive with NXT UK officials.
Meanwhile, WALTER marched on, successfully defending his title in barnburners against the likes of A-Kid and Rampage Brown. And after Dragunov defeated Joe Coffey and Brown in a wild Triple Threat Match, the stage was set for his return bout against WALTER.
In a tense press conference on the July 15 edition of NXT, Dragunov proclaimed his respect for WALTER as a competitor but also expressed his passionate hatred for The Ring General and claimed that the NXT UK Champion “purposely broke something inside of me.”
Though WALTER vs. Dragunov II was originally scheduled for July 22, The Austrian Anomaly sustained a hand injury during a backstage altercation with The Mad Russian following the press conference the week prior, forcing the title match to be moved to NXT TakeOver 36 on Aug. 22.
As such, the WWE Universe has been forced to wait just a bit longer for the most anticipated rematch in NXT UK history, but given the brutality we witnessed in the first championship fight as well as the unbridled contempt that champion and challenger have shown for one another, we should all be in for a treat on the massive stage of NXT TakeOver 36.
Don’t miss what promises to be a harrowing championship brawl not for the faint of heart when WALTER defends his NXT UK Title against Dragunov at TakeOver 36, streaming live on Sunday, Aug. 22, at 8/7 C on Peacock in the United States and on WWE Network everywhere else!