NXT Star Expected to Join WWE Main Roster in 2024 Getting Rave Reviews, Earmarked To Be Future IC Champion

nxt, gunther
Credit: WWE

A new report reveals the extremely positive opinions many inside WWE have about NXT champion Ilia Dragunov and the belief that he has breakout star potential like long-time rival Gunther.

Every facet of WWE seems to be in a new boom period. Ever since founder and long-time CEO Vince McMahon began to have a diminished role with the company — and then eventually stepped away permanently — the product has been on fire. The same could be said for their minor league system NXT.

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Under the guidance of WWE legend Shawn Michaels, NXT has seen a bit of a resurgence with quite a few performers that have massive potential to go on to be huge money-makers on the main roster. One performer in particular who has garnered a lot of buzz is former NXT UK champion Ilia Dragunov.

Dragunov has followed a similar path to current Intercontinental Champion Gunther, going from a top star in NXT UK and then on to the Florida-based NXT brand. According to Fightful reporter Corey Brennan, the reigning NXT champion is expected to continue the impactful path of the Austrian on the main roster.

“The belief of several in NXT is that WWE sees Ilja Dragunov in the same vein as Gunther and has plans to push him in a similar capacity to the Intercontinental Champion once he makes his way to the main roster,” Brennan wrote.

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Ilia Dragunov building a reputation as a model performer in NXT

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In his report, the Fightful writer added that the 30-year-old has earned a rep for requiring little direction from NXT producers and some in the promotion feel he has grown beyond needing to be in NXT. Ilia Dragunov is also well-liked for helping other talent and is considered very easy to work with.

So then when will we actually see Ilia Dragunov on the main roster? Well, that may not be anytime soon. Brennan reported that there are no plans to promote him to the main roster anytime soon, but once he loses the NXT title a move-up should soon follow.

What are your thoughts on Ilia Dragunov? Let your opinion be heard in our new Fightline forums!

After earning his journalism degree in 2017, Jason Burgos served as a contributor to several sites, including MMA Sucka... More about Jason Burgos

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