NXT was setting their United Kingdom champion WALTER on a collision course with Finn Bálor back in February and early March. A dream match between the Austrian and the Irishman seemed likely for either the since-cancelled TakeOver: Tampa or the postponed TakeOver: Dublin.
Whenever things return to something like normal, Bálor may have to wait in line for his shot at the Ring General of Imperium. Because Finn’s foe from January’s Worlds Collide Ilja Dragunov, show became the #1 contender for WALTER’s belt on the latest episode of NXT UK.
Unfortunately, the episode which premiered on WWE Network yesterday (Thurs., April 2) was also the last one taped before the world paused last month. So Dragunov’s battle royal win is essentially a cliffhanger.
You can see some highlights of that match embedded above, but it’s worth seeking out the entire finishing stretch for a mini-bout between Ilja and the always excellent Tyler Bate. Dragunov sounds ready to try to hand WALTER his first singles loss since signing with WWE.
Unless the Prince pins him first. The Russian’s interview definitely makes it sound like he was going to face the winner of WALTER/Bálor.
Now we wait for it to be safe to see him get the chance to become UK champ.