Ilja Dragunov Reportedly Expected To Receive WWE Main Roster Call-Up After Losing NXT Championship

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”The Mad Dragon’ is seemingly thought very highly of in WWE and could be in line for a major main roster call-up in the future.

On April 6th, Ilja Dragunov is set to defend the NXT Championship against Tony D’Angelo at NXT: Stand & Deliver, and whilst Dragunov is likely to be the favourite to retain heading into the bout, that hasn’t stopped speculation about a potential main roster call-up in the near future.

Fightful Select have now provided an update on Dragunov’s status in WWE as it pertains to a main roster call-up, noting that whilst there are no immediate plans to do so, he is expected to land on the main roster upon dropping the NXT Championship.

“Fightful Select’s Corey Brennan has been told that Dragunov is not planned for a callup at this time, but is expected to make his way to the main roster upon losing the NXT Championship, with some in NXT feeling he is beyond the brand at this stage of his career.”

-Fightful Select

When speculating on a potential main roster call-up for Dragunov in the past, WWE fans have often questioned whether his schedule and his desire to visit his home would prevent him from considering making the move upwards, however the report notes that the company would be more than happy to accommodate this.

Additionally, many fans have also speculated that Dragunov’s lack of a main roster call-up up to this point could’ve been due to Dragunov being planned for the upcoming NXT Europe brand, although this again was downplayed by Fightful’s report, who note that the NXT Champion has not been considered for the expansion since making the move to the States.

Regarding how Ilja is viewed by the creative teams in WWE and how he could fare on the main roster, the report claims that Dragunov is seen in a similar vein to GUNTHER, who is currently in the middle of a record-breaking reign as WWE Intercontinental Champion.

“In the broader scheme of WWE, the belief of several in NXT is that WWE see Dragunov in the same vein as Gunther and have pans to push him in a similar capacity to the current Intercontinental Champion once he makes his way to the main roster.”

-Fightful Select

Detailing the company’s thoughts on Dragunov as a talent further, Fightful add that the 30-year-old is a constant source of praise, with NXT producers often needing to give him very little direction as opposed to the lesser-experienced crop of developmental talent.

Fightful closed their report by sharing an insight into NXT talent’s thoughts on their current champion, with one name stating he elevates anyone he steps in the ring with and that he has an incredible mind for the business, whilst another praised Dragunov for being incredibly easy to work with, stating that he’s a “wonderful person to be around”.

As always, we’ll aim to provide any further updates on the future plans for Ilja Dragunov as soon as we hear more.

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