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NXT UK Results: WALTER and Ilja Dragunov's rivalry

nxt uk 9 3 2020

Quick results --

This was an episode featuring a lot of new content, looking at the upcoming title match between WALTER and Ilja Dragunov. This included a previously unaired match of WALTER vs. Ridge Holland in a true hoss fight, plus a tremendous personality piece on Ilja Dragunov, his upbringing, rough childhood and character.

There also was a cool video on various superstars talking about WALTER and the champion addressing his challenger.

NXT UK will go into a more storyline driven direction as new episodes of the show will start airing in two weeks.

  • WALTER beat Ridge Holland (previously unaired match)
  • Ilja Dragunov won a 20 Men Battle Royal to become #1 contender for the NXT UK championship (highlights of the match which previously aired on NXT UK)

Report --

Non-title match: NXT UK Champion WALTER pinned Ridge Holland after a lariat (09:03)

Taped at Coventry Skydome in Coventry, England on March 7, 2020

The two behemoths locked up and WALTER managed to push Holland into the corner. Holland evaded and attack and came back with a strike, then they traded blows. They ran into each other with neither man being able to get the other off his feet. WALTER briefly took over but Holland caught him in mid-air and slammed him.

They briefly wrestled on the outside, but WALTER picked Holland up and threw him on the apron to end his momentum.

WALTER locked in a chin lock, then applied an arm lock, which ended in a test of strength. WALTER got the better of the exchange as Holland bridged on the mat, earning him a kick to the throat by the champion.

Holland came back with strikes and kicks, but quickly was stopped again as WALTER returned the favor from before with a big body slam.

Holland ate a chop and asked for more, but WALTER would have none of his no-selling nonsense and began working over his arm. Holland hit a number of clotheslines and eventually took WALTER off his feet with a huge lariat.

WALTER kicked Holland in the head, but was thrown into the air for a big back body drop. Holland couldn't capitalize as WALTER locked in the sleeper but got hoisted up into a Torture Rack instead, followed by an overhead belly-to-belly suplex for a two-count.

Holland followed up with a clothesline into the corner, but the champ came back with a big Shotgun dropkick.

WALTER tried for the power bomb but Holland powered out and went for the Northern Grit, which WALTER countered. Eventually, Holland escaped another Northern Grip attempt but ended up on the turnbuckle where Holland hit a power bomb, followed by a body slam into an Emerald Frosion for another near fall.

Holland hit a head butt, but WALTER came back with a Yokozuna-style lifting side slam for a narrow two-count of his own. WALTER clobbered Holland's chest on the apron, but Holland eventually blocked the attack and returned the favor.

Holland ended up at ringside as Alexander Wolfe ran in but got disposed of by Holland. The distraction was enough for WALTER to kick Holland in the head as he re-entered the ring, followed by a big lariat for the pinfall victory.

WALTER and Wolfe briefly celebrated in the ring.

**********

-- A look at WALTER

William Regal, Drew McIntyre, Adam Cole and Timothy Thatcher talked about the phenom that is WALTER as highlight clips from his matches aired. McIntyre said he first laid eyes on WALTER in wXw, where he stuck out due to his size. Cole said that when WALTER chops you, it's like your soul is leaving your body. Thatcher said that now that WALTER had some time off to train even more, he will be even more unstoppable. The video is really fun and can also be seen here on NXT UK's Twitter account.

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-- A cool video aired, hyping the return of NXT UK on September 17

-- Another video looked at the NXT UK tag team scene, calling it the "best kept secret in WWE". It may just actually be that with Gallus, Imperium, The Grizzled Young Veterans, Mark Andrews & Flash Morgan Webster, Pretty Deadly, Kenny Williams & Amir Jordan, The Hunt and Ashton Smith & Oliver Carter delivering high quality matches on a regular basis.

**********

-- Unbesiegbar - The Ilja Dragunov Story

As childhood pictures of him filled the screen, Ilja talked about how he moved with his mother and part of his family from Russia to Germany when he was five years old after the Soviet Union had broken down. Crime was high and a good and safe life was no longer possible for them, looking for a better life.

He said while he was just a child and adapted to the new life, his mother left her previous life in Russia. She had been a teacher, but her degree was not accepted in Germany so she had to re-acquire her degree at the university level and held numerous jobs to make things work. He said his mother was his biggest role model.

He said Germany was different and confusing, he didn't speak the language and none of the other kids would play with him at kindergarten. He kept being an outsider in school and didn't fit in. He said they had no money for sweets or chips.

He told a story where they lived at an immigration apartment, waiting to get their own place and one day as he was playing outside, he saw a package of Pringles in a trash can with a few left and ate them out of the trash. He felt awful afterwards, but it was the first time he tasted hope and had the taste of a better life.

Ilja walked through a rough part of Dresden, where he grew up and told a story where a couple of teenagers beat him up on his way home when he was ten years old because they overheard him talking Russian and told him to leave the country or his mother and grandfather would be next. He said this was the catalyst of him wanting to feel Unbesiegbar ("invincible").

He said he still loves this part of town, as for him, because here he learned about simplicity and that it didn't matter who you were or where you lived, but just your will to succeed. He said he couldn't change the past, but had the chance to improve his future.

He said for 17 years of living in Germany, he never fit in and never could express himself. Then he discovered wrestling and things changed, as he could make people feel him when he was in the ring.

He said he was real in the ring, his act there was what he felt and was real madness. He celebrates his life there and that nothing was easy for him. He said he did this for all the people who felt like him - "you can beat us down, but you can't beat our heart".

This was a fantastic video and a great look at the man behind the character, probably once of the best personality profiles that aired on any WWE show over the past year.

**********

-- WALTER on Ilja Dragunov

WALTER talked about Ilja. He said they grew up in the same system, shared history and he respects him a lot. He is an honest, hard working man who shares the same passion for the sport.

He said everyone they put in front of him was a great competitor, naming Trent Seven, Tyler Bate and Pete Dunne. But he said when they meet, it will be the greatest fight of Ilja's life.

He said he made him and this time he would destroy him. He said one thing that will never change is him being the NXT UK champion and the one that was chose to protect and restore the honor of this great sport.

**********

Ilja Dragunov won a 20-men Battle Royal to become the #1 contender to the NXT UK Championship

Taped at Coventry Skydome in Coventry, England on March 7, 2020, previously aired on NXT UK  on April 2,2020

They showed highlights of the battle royal, before joining the match in progress near the finish.

Tyler Bate, Joe Coffey, Alexander Wolfe and Ilja Dragunov were the final four and initially paired off but switched opponents a few times.

Coffey hit the Glasgow Sendoff on Dragunov and Bate in the corner, but got hit with a dropkick by Wolfe.

Wolfe threw him over the top and then threw Dragunov into him to bounce Joe Coffey off the apron for the elimination.

Alexander Wolfe beat down Bate, but Dragnuov eliminated him with a running clothesline to get down to the final two.

Bate and Dragunov battled it out with Dragunov hitting a running senton, followed with a few stiff chops to Bate's neck. Bate lifted Dragunov up and looked to get him over the rope and then landed a punch to Dragunov's jaw.

Bate caught Dragunov off a bodypress and then hit an overhead suplex on him. He followed with the running shooting star and Dragunov looked out of it. Dragunov escaped the airplane spin and hit a hard lariat, but Bate came back with a slingshot lariat seconds later. Dragunov was sent into the ropes and hit the Six One Line/Konstantin Special on Bate.

They traded offense until both men were on their knees. Bate ended up in the bottom rope on the outside and looked to suplex Dragunov over, but Dragunov also switched over onto the apron.

Bate went for another suplex, but Dragunov escaped and threw him back into the ring and then hit a top rope senton. Dragunov went for Torpedo Moscow, but got hit with a kappa kick.

Dragunov then back body dropped Bate over the top where the Big Strong Boi dangled for a few seconds before looking to skin the cat. Bate was then hit by Torpedo Moscow mid-move to be eliminated for the win.

Next week:

  • A huge announcement about the future of NXT UK
  • A look at the rivalry between Kay Lee Ray and Piper Niven and an announcement when the NXT UK Women's championship would next be defended