The NXT Championship match between Carmelo Hayes and Ilja Dragunov was a highly-anticipated rematch. It was a hard-fought battle but, at the end of it all, Dragunov walked out of No Mercy the new NXT Champion.
Ilja Dragunov Defeats Carmelo Hayes To Win NXT Championship At No Mercy 2023
Carmelo Hayes and Ilja Dragunov have a very short yet storied history in NXT. Hayes has been the NXT champion since NXT Stand & Deliver in April, and it has been quite the reign. Dragunov, on the other hand, has been rising through the ranks in the NXT and believes it’s his time to reign as champion.
The two first met at The Great American Bash, where Hayes was successful in his title defense. Since then, Dragunov has been working his way back to Hayes, hoping to be the one to derail the ‘HIM’ hype train.
As per usual, Hayes had an entrance fitting for a champion and intimidating to his opponent but Dragunov refused to be shaken. The two did not hold back, immediately getting into it once the bell had sounded. This was a hard-hitting affair, with many agreeing that this match somehow managed to exceed the already high expectations it had.
As resilient as ever, both Hayes and Dragunov refused to yield to the other’s offense. It ultimately was Dragunov’s night as he won the match and walked away as the new NXT champion. Dragunov and Hayes showed each other respect and embraced following the bout, which allowed the live crowd to show appreciation for the pair.