NXT UK’s WALTER suffers legitimate injury postponing Ilja Dragunov rematch – where it happened and how severe explained

The highly-anticipated WALTER vs Ilja Dragunov II matchup for the NXT UK championship has been postponed.

A press conference – where talkSPORT was present – was held on last night’s episode of NXT UK, but later in the show it was revealed WALTER suffered a hand injury and he will not be able to compete in the scheduled match next week.

WALTER and Ilja Dragunov had an instant classic

talkSPORT understands the injury occurred during the recent ‘training camps’ WWE held to prepare their superstars to return to the road and perform in front of fans.

It’s not a ‘bad’ injury, we’re told, but enough to keep him from such an important matchup.

The longest reigning SmackDown Women’s champion ever, Bayley, has also been the victim of an injury during these training camps and she will be out for around nine months with a rumoured ACL injury. She had surgery this week.

With the postponement of this matchup and COVID restrictions lifting on July 19, the chance of them performing it in front of fans now seems a very real possibility.

NXT UK have not announced any plans to get on the road as of yet and they have successfully made BT Sport studios their home during the pandemic.

Originally the brand took a six month hiatus during the initial lockdown in the UK, but since returning, WALTER and Dragunov had arguably the match of the pandemic era and a couple of bouts between Kay Lee Ray and Meiko Satomura have really shone a light on the brand.

Triple H is a huge fan of WALTER
WWE

WALTER has currently been champion for over 800 days. He took the title from Pete Dunne at NXT TakeOver: New York back in 2019.

Many fans have been pining for the Austrian to start making appearances stateside either in NXT or on the main roster, but WALTER told talkSPORT he has no intention of making that move permanently.

“I would go on the main roster at some point but I wouldn’t move to America. Moving to America is not for me. American lifestyle is not for me. No, I couldn’t imagine that. When it comes to that, I stay where I am.

“But, I am able to get on an airplane! [laughs].”

NXT UK champion WALTER with talkSPORT’s Alex McCarthy
WWE