Today NXT UK got 5 new names to add to their growing roster of European talent. Ilja Dragunov, Kay Lee Ray, Jazzy Gabert, Oliver Sauter and Jay Melrose have all been officially announced. Some have been rumoured to join since last year’s tryout in Cologne and three have already appeared at tapings. The big question on some people’s minds will be who are all of these people, well never fear we’re here to help
Ilja Dragunov made his name wrestling for Germany’s Westside Xtreme Wrestling (wXw) and the Russian import became a massive star for the company after his feud with WALTER and their much talked about match in the 2017 16 Carat Gold final. In 2018 he finally branched our from wXw and had a high profile match against Pete Dunne at PROGRESS Wembley. The man known as “unbesiegbar” is one of the most unique performers in Europe with a strange cadence and uncanny charisma that makes him stand out from the crowd. At just 25, he has been through many a battle and now gets ready to unleash the Torpedo Moscow on NXT UK.
Kay Lee Ray
Kay Lee Ray was an important part of Insane Championship Wrestling‘s explosion into the public eye. At a time when people were crying out for women’s wrestlers to receive the treatment they deserved, she was having crazy hardcore matches against all comers in ICW and gaining a reputation as one of the toughest wrestlers in the UK scene. Her daredevil ways have seen her travel the world and pick up championships everywhere she’s been. The first ever 3-time ICW Women’s champion, the first ever World Of Sport Women’s champion, a 3-time Queen Of Southside champion and a former Defiant women’s champion she has also toured Japan as a member of the Stardom roster and stole the show on the biggest all women’s show in European history as she had a classic match with the legendary Meiko Satomura.
Standing at over 6 feet tall, Jazzy Gabert is a powerhouse of women’s wrestling. Gabert was a part of the first ever Mae Young Classic where she failed t make it out of the first round. But the majority of her success came as Alpha Female on the independent circuit. A veteran who has been wrestling since 2001, she was the Pro Wrestling EVE Champion for just over 200 days and more notably one of only nine people to have held the World Of Stardom championship in it’s 8-year history, joining the likes of Satomura, Kairi Sane (then Kairi Hojo), Nanae Takahashi, Toni Storm and Mayu Iwatani. She has wrestled all over Europe honing her skills during her near two decade long career and held some of the biggest titles in women’s wrestling. Will we see her hold the NXT UK Women’s championship soon?
Coming from a background in Soccer, Oliver Carter hails from Zurich, Switzerland and has been wrestling all over Europe in some of it’s under-reported scenes. Central Europe is currently bustling with talent from places like France, Switzlerland, Spain and Sweden. Oliver Carter was one of the many from the region tipped for greatness. NXT UK will provide him a stage to showcase himself, but he also has the expectations of a region on his back.
“Primate” Jay Melrose briefly was forced to retire due to a jaw injury. He most notably wrestled for Defiant in some incredibly brutal contests. His hardcore, brawling ways saw him form a successful tag team with Jimmy Havoc as the two won Defiant’s tag team titles and Melrose himself was a 2-time hardcore champion. A late bloomer and someone who was hurt by injuries could be a sleeper hit in NXT UK. One thing is for sure though, everyone better watch out for this bruiser.