September 25, 2020

Pro Wrestling Source

For the fans, by the fans

ILJA DRAGUNOV

Ilja Rukober is a 26-year-old professional wrestler from Russia. He is currently signed to the WWE and performs on NXT under the ring name, Ilja Dragunov.

Rukober began his wrestling training at the German Wrestling Federation and then made his in-ring debut in 2012. A year later, he began wrestling for Westside Xtreme Wrestling. Rukober experienced great success at Westwide Xtreme Wrestling as he was a one-time wXw Unified World Wrestling Champion, three-time wXw World Tag Team Champion and two-time wXw Shotgun Champion.

In 2018, Dragunov also began wrestling for Progress Wrestling and made his in-ring debut in October in a losing match to Pete Dunne. At Chapter 83 in January 2019, Dragunov defeated Timothy Thatcher. At Super Strong Style 16, he defeated Chris Brookes in the first round and then beat Trevor Lee in the quarter final. In a triple threat match against David Starr and Travis Banks, he was the first wrestler eliminated when Banks defeated him by pinfall.

At Progress Wrestling’s Chapter 91, Dragunov defeated Jordan Devlin in a number one contender match for the Unified World Championship. He lost the following day at Chapter 92 to Walter. At Chapter 95, he competed in a royal rumble match for the Proteus Championship entering as number two and eliminated Niwa, TK Cooper and Chuck Mambo, before he and William Eaver simultaneously eliminated each other.

In January 2019, Rukober signed with WWE and began using the ring name, Ilja Dragunov. He defeated Jack Stars in his televised NXT UK debut in May 2019. He then began a short undefeated streak, defeating Joseph Conners and then Ashton Smith. At NXT UK TakeOver: Cardiff, Dragunov lost to Cesaro after answering his open challenge.

On January 2, 2020, Dragunov defeated Wolfe in a no disqualification match. In retaliation, Barthel and Aichner attacked and beat Dragunov after the match.

Ilja Dragunov
Ilja Dragunov

Stats

Birth name: Ilja Rukober
Born: October 10 1993, Moscow, Russia
Height: 5 ft 10 in (178 cm)
Weight: 198 lb (90 kg)
Ring Names: Davey American, Ilja Dragunov
Current Roster: NXT UK
Finishing Move(s): Grüße aus Moskau, Torpedo Moskau

Career Championships and Accomplishments

  • German Wrestling Federation/Next Step Wrestling
    • NSW Heavyweight Championship (1 time)
    • NSW European Championship (1 time)
  • Westside Xtreme Wrestling
    • wXw Unified World Wrestling Championship (1 time)
    • wXw World Tag Team Championship (3 times)
    • wXw Shotgun Championship (2 times)
    • wXw 16 Carat Gold Tournament (2017)