Carmelo Hayes Assesses WWE NXT Rival Ilja Dragunov

NXT's Showdown: Carmelo Hayes and Ilja Dragunov's Rematch

by Atia Mukhtar
Carmelo Hayes Assesses WWE NXT Rival Ilja Dragunov
© WWE/YouTube

In a highly anticipated showdown scheduled for September 30th, WWE NXT's reigning champion, Carmelo Hayes, is poised to defend his coveted title against the formidable Ilja Dragunov at NXT No Mercy. This impending clash marks a rematch between these two talented athletes, with their prior encounter transpiring at NXT's Great American Bash.

During their previous bout, Dragunov, known for his punishing in-ring style, inadvertently collided with Hayes' associate, Trick Williams, smashing his face into the NXT Championship belt, ultimately allowing Hayes to secure the victory and retain his championship.

Carmelo's Redemption Mission

Reflecting on their earlier title match, Carmelo Hayes expressed his desire to vanquish Dragunov in a more decisive and uncontroversial manner. During an appearance on WWE's "The Bump," the NXT Champion disclosed, "Well, to be honest, I needed two months to recover from that match, so I'm glad that they gave me a little bit of time.

I feel like this match going into it, I'll be way more prepared. I know what I'm getting into. Somebody like Ilja Dragunov, he's a different breed, man. You guys know, you guys have watched him just walk to the ring. That alone is terrifying.

So, I'm looking forward to getting back in there with him and getting that solidified win. There was a lot of talk about an asterisk because I had Trick by my side and there was a little bit of question with that. So I'm ready to shut all the doubters up and beat Ilja one, two, three, clean." When inquired about his strategic approach to facing Dragunov this time around, Hayes made a resolute declaration that he intends to bring the fight directly to his adversary from the outset.

While Hayes isn't averse to elevating the physicality of the match, he candidly admitted that he has yet to identify a vulnerability in Dragunov's in-ring game, thereby posing an additional challenge. Nevertheless, Hayes conveyed his unwavering readiness to confront this formidable opponent head-on, emphasizing his determination to silence any lingering doubts surrounding his championship reign.

Wrestling enthusiasts can undoubtedly anticipate an electrifying showdown when Carmelo Hayes and Ilja Dragunov collide once again at NXT No Mercy.

Carmelo Hayes Nxt Ilja Dragunov