The Ring General has fallen and after an incredible, historic 870-day run as champion, there’s a new king in the NXT UK division and his name is Ilja Dragunov.
Walter and Ilja Dragunov had a match for the ages last night at Takeover 36, the exact reason why this match was put on the show instead of an empty arena at the BT Sport studios in London.
The Austrian had been champion since April 5, 2019, seemingly a lifetime ago, when he beat Pete Dunne at NXT Takeover: New York in Brooklyn. Dunne was on another lengthy run himself, with 685 days as champion.
Since then, Walter destroyed everyone in his path and his 870-day reign as NXT UK champion is the longest one in WWE modern-day history.
Dragunov, a 27-year-old from Moscow, Russia, had a match-of-the-year candidate last year in October in an empty arena against Walter, a match that he lost due to referee stoppage after he passed out in a rear naked choke.
10 months later, Dragunov returned the favor and made Walter tap out to a sleep hold to win his first title in NXT UK.