Ilja Dragunov gets stitches after NXT

Aug 18, 2021 - by Marc Middleton

Ilja Dragunov needed several stitches to close a cut above his right eye after last night’s Takeover 36 go-home edition of WWE NXT on the USA Network.

Last night’s show saw Dragunov answer the Open Challenge issued by The Diamond Mine. He went on to defeat Roderick Strong in the opening match. Strong was scheduled to challenge NXT Cruiserweight Champion Kushida, but it was announced that Kushida was unable to compete as he was not medically cleared.

Dragunov fought Strong in a back & forth match, but suffered a cut shortly after the half-way point. Dragunov began to bleed heavily from above his eye, which left a significant amount of blood on Strong’s back at one point. Dragunov finished the match with a crimson mask, and finished Strong off with the Torpedo Moscow.

After the match, Dragunov called NXT UK Champion WALTER to the ring but he never came out, later noting in a backstage promo that tonight was not about he and Dragunov, but Imperium as they challenged NXT Tag Team Champions MSK.

Dragunov later came out during the match between MSK and Imperium, with a bandage on his head. WALTER had tried to interfere on behalf of Marcel Barthel and Fabian Aichner, but back-fired and MSK retained. Dragunov attacked WALTER at ringside, but was laid out. WALTER ended up taking out MSK and Dragunov before Imperium posed over Dragunov in the middle of the ring to end the segment.

WWE noted after the show that Dragunov needed 8 stitches to close the laceration above his right eye.

WWE also confirmed that Dragunov is medically cleared to compete, and will still challenge WALTER for the NXT UK Title at Sunday’s Takeover 36 event.

Triple H took to Twitter and commented on Dragunov vs. WALTER after Tuesday’s match.

“The ability to fight until the very end… a skill that @UNBESIEGBAR_ZAR will need to harness if he wants to beat @WalterAUT this Sunday at #NXTTakeOver … The entire @WWENXT Universe should prepare themselves for a WAR for the #NXTUKTitle!!!,” he wrote.

Stay tuned for more on Dragunov and Sunday’s Takeover event. Below are several related shots from this week’s NXT, along with tweets from WALTER and Triple H:

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