Top Star To Leave NXT UK After 200th Episode 

Devlin tosses Dragunov through a table
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A top star will leave NXT UK following its 200th episode after Ilja Dragunov challenged Jordan Devlin to a Loser Leaves Town match.

Dragunov said his worst nightmare was for Devlin to win the NXT UK Championship from him. The champion then dared Devlin to agree to the stipulation during the contract signing for their NXT UK Championship bout set for the 200th episode of NXT UK on Thursday, May 12. 

A Top Star Is Guaranteed to Leave NXT UK

The loser will almost certainly head to the US and join either the WWE’s main roster or NXT 2.0. Here, we weigh up who is more likely to lose and head stateside.

Ilja Dragunov 

Dragunov has already defended his NXT UK Championship against every serious contender on NXT UK. Since he won the gold from WALTER in August 2021, Dragunov has beaten A-Kid, Nathan Frazer, Roderick Strong, Jordan Devlin, and Rampage Brown with the title on the line. A lack of new matches for Dragunov in the UK could mean it’s time for him to head stateside. It feels like Dragunov still has more to offer as NXT UK Champion though so he could stick around. 

Dragunov is an individual whose intensity is hard to match in the ring. His matches against WALTER (now Gunther) received plaudits from the wrestling industry. His victory over WALTER to win his championship also proves how highly regarded he is within WWE. Surely there’s been talk since his matches with WALTER about how Dragunov would work in America.

With Gunther and Ludwig Kaiser now on the main roster, WWE may want to add Dragunov to NXT 2.0 to keep a European flair on the brand.

Jordan Devlin 

Devlin moved to the US at the start of 2020 when he began appearing on NXT TV. He soon won the NXT Cruiserweight Championship and impressed in a ladder match against Santos Escobar at NXT Takeover Stand & Deliver. The Covid pandemic resulted in Devlin coming back to the UK where despite his rivalry with Dragunov he has seemed a little lost. If the powers that be wanted him in the US two years ago, they will probably want to make a second attempt at transitioning him to the US. Like Dragunov, there is also a lack of new feuds for Devlin in NXT UK for a move would be sensible. 

Shame, Shame I Know Your Name 

You’d have to have been living under a rock not to notice the WWE’s fetish for renaming performers. Regardless of which top star leaves NXT UK, we can expect them to reemerge with a new name. Let’s just hope the WWE renaming committee has already agreed why they can’t call Dragunov ‘Vladimir’. 

Stay tuned to the Last Word on Pro Wrestling for more on this and other stories from around the world of wrestling, as they develop. You can always count on LWOPW to be on top of the major news in the wrestling world, as well as to provide you with analysis, previews, videos, interviews, and editorials on the wrestling world. You can check out an almost unlimited array of WWE content on the WWE Network and Peacock.