After months of rumors and Westside Xtreme Wrestling (wXw)‘s Ilja Dragunov being pulled from various independent wrestling dates, “Unbesigbar” Ilja Dragunov appeared at an NXT UK taping. In a dark match to start the night, he was one of a number of NXT UK debuts as a he faced Ashton Smith
— Dei Owen (@DeiOwen) February 23, 2019
The man known for rising to fame in Germany’s wXw and making his way around Europe over the last year wrestling for every major company in the UK including PROGRESS Wrestling and Over The Top (OTT) Wrestling as well as having some great matches during Battle Of Los Angeles weekend in 2018.
He joins his former rival WALTER in NXT UK and is the latest indie superstar to come under the WWE banner. He’s still only 25 years old and has an intense in-ring style, an unusual charisma and an ability to connect with crowds that few others can match.
Holy. S***. #NXTUK
— We Are NXT UK (@wearenxtuk) February 23, 2019
Piper Niven also made her debut as part of NXT UK’s women’s division. The former Viper and former Mae Young Classic competitor debuted to confront former NXT UK Women’s champion Rhea Ripley. Ripley defeated Xia Brookside and laid claim to being the most dominant woman in NXT UK which brought out Viper. Later in the taping, Viper made her in-ring debut facing Killer Kelly and once again confronting Ripley.
Before signing, Niven traveled the world as Viper. She broke out in Scotland’s Insane Championship Wrestling as their women’s champion during their hottest period. After taking over Scotland she took over the world and at one point in 2018 held five championships at once. She also toured premiere Joshi company World Wonder Ring Stardom successfully as a member of Queen’s Quest even holding the SWA Undisputed World Women’s championship and the Artist of Stardom Championship.
As a star in the UK, she was a 2-time ICW women’s champion, Fierce Females champion for over 1000 days and was the first ever EVE International champion. The “megaton barbie” was one of the best female wrestlers in the world using her strength and agility to her advantage no matter where she went in the world. Now in NXT UK, she looks to continue the domination of the scene that saw her have great success on the indies and on national television with World Of Sport.