WWE star Ilja Dragunov cherishes meteoric rise
MANILA, Philippines – The current NXT UK Champion, Ilja Dragunov, once said that “he didn’t choose wrestling but wrestling chose him.”
Now one of professional wrestling’s biggest and brightest young stars, the 27-year-old Russian-German has been on a non-stop ascent in the world of sports entertainment.
“I think I can be proud of myself,” Dragunov told Philstar.com. “When I started all of this, it was a way for me to express myself. As a kid of an immigrant coming to a new country in Germany, and having to learn a new language and a new culture, sports entertainment gave me a way to express my feelings. My true inner you.”
“If you can express feelings, people can connect to you and these are special moments.”
Those difficult days where Dragunov and his mother had to scrape to earn a living in Dresden, Germany fueled his desire to alleviate not only his mother’s condition’s but to also give flight to his dreams.
In his own words, Dragunov had to “eat crap” from a lot of people.
However, he has learned to be magnanimous in his success.
“There are a few people who knew me then but know me now in a different way (his success),” said Ilja. “But this is nothing I care about. It isn’t about stuff that went wrong. I have forgiven people about what happened in my past. Where I am now is not where a lot of people get to be. I made something incredible. It’s moving forward.”
After Dragunov bagged the NXT UK championship for nemesis Walter, the crowds — returning to live events for the first time since the global lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic — chanted that he deserved the title.
After having taken huge beatings in trying to take down Walter in the past, Dragunov, visibly moved by the appreciation reflected, “I sometimes forget how much people appreciate what I do because I am so driven. Knowing that all the ideas, energy, and passion I put into my work makes people understand that the process of a journey and hard work and makes sense. It is one of the best feelings of my life.”
From Russia to Germany to the United Kingdom where he is at the pinnacle of sports entertainment, the logical next step for Ilja Dragunov is to go to the main WWE brands.
“From the time I have been in professional wrestling, people want to see more of me and I am thankful,” said Ilja. What other option do I have but to go to the top? When the time is right, I will take that next step. This journey is so authentic and so real.”
Fans of Ilja Dragunov and NXT UK and WWE can get their weekly fix on TapGo and Tap Sports. They go to the two channels’ social media for more details on how they can watch Ilja Dragunov and other sports entertainment stars.
Credit belongs to : www.philstar.com