Ilja Dragunov Comments On NXT Shifting To Using Bigger Talent, More


During a recent interview with Sport 1, WWE NXT Superstar Ilja Dragunov commented on the reports that NXT is shifting to using bigger talents, his feud with WALTER, and more. You can check out some highlights from the interview below:

On his different path to becoming a wrestling fans: “Compared to many others in my industry, I was less of a wrestling fan before I became a wrestler myself. My earliest memory is a WWE match between Rey Mysterio and the late Eddie Guerrero that I stumbled across on TV. I thought it was cool, absolutely, I remember that, but at the time it didn’t come to my mind that I would have delved into it. But somehow the idea stuck: I don’t know what I want to be – so I’ll become a wrestler if I can’t find anything else. And years later when I got the chance to do wrestling training, I stuck with it.”

On bringing his feud with WALTER to NXT TakeOver 36: “I think it’s fantastic. I’m already grateful to learn from legends like Michaels and Triple H at WWE. My head is practically occupied all day long, soaking up the things that I get conveyed here, there is nothing better for someone like me. And to be able to work with WALTER here, to be able to build on our previous history in Germany: This closes the circle. I still remember my first meeting with WALTER when I was still a total beginner. I had a feeling: I’ll compete against him one day and it will mean something. And now I’m doing that at WWE – and it really means something.”

On reports that NXT is changing its focus to heavyweights: “Fortunately, I have a job that deals with so many challenges that it doesn’t give me time to think about something that I can’t control. In general, however, I am of course aware of one thing: I am a type who embodies something that certainly not everyone can do anything with. But I also say: That’s not my claim, I don’t want it at all. Someone that everyone likes, has no rough edges. And if you don’t have it, you don’t get anywhere, because you don’t have anything that sets you apart, that gives you recognition value. I have that, I embody what I am in the ring, express something that is deep inside of me – and I would never want to do anything else.”

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