Finn Bálor def. Ilja Dragunov

Finn Bálor def
Finn Bálor def. Ilja Dragunov

HOUSTON — Going into Worlds Collide, Finn Bálor laid things out very clearly to Ilja Dragunov: NXT UK’s ruby-eyed Russian would get exactly one crack at the self-proclaimed “Prince” — an opportunity he’d best not miss. The message was received: Even though the Irishman ultimately upended his foe, Dragunov all but made himself famous in defeat, handing the former NXT Champion everything he could handle and then some.

Dragunov — relatively unknown to the American audience, save perhaps for that all-timer against Cesaro last year — gave his foe a painful crash course, thumbing Bálor in the eye and battling through a series of frustrated chops from the former NXT Champion that turned Dragunov’s chest a bright shade of red. The Mad Russian’s crescendo, literally and figuratively, came by way of a coast-to-coast dropkick that might have broken Bálor’s nose.

Weebly - Websites, eCommerce & Marketing in one place. Create your online store and start selling. Try it today at!

Finding himself in the unfamiliar position of fighting for survival, Bálor absorbed his punishment and picked his opening perfectly to win. Blocking a top-rope senton from Dragunov, the Irishman uncorked a massive Coup de Grâce and followed up with 1916 for the win. Given the effort put forth by Dragunov, you’d be hard-pressed to say he missed in any sense of the word. But the Russian fell short in the most crucial sense: He didn’t keep his foe down.

Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial

Enjoy this arcticle? Please Share!