NXT Preview for 8/31/21 (Ilja Dragunov addresses the NXT Universe)

On the 8/31/21 edition of NXT, we preview the final show for August 2021. This week’s edition has a number of different matches booked and an address by a champion. With Dragunov recently capturing the NXT UK Championship this week, he will address those in attendance. Also slated to take place is Roderick Strong’s weekly Diamond Mine challenge has been met. Finally, Ridge Holland and Tommaso Ciampa will face off along with Kyle O’Reilly against Duke Hudson.


NXT Preview for 8/31/21
Photo / WWE NXT


Ilja Dragunov addresses the NXT Universe

After NXTTakeOver 36, Ilja Dragunov showed the NXT Universe just how much of an absolute buzzsaw he could be. A longstanding war of words with Walter led to a follow-up match for the NXT UK Championship. Their follow-up match at TakeOver 36 was for the NXT UK Championship. It was a brutal affair and one worthy of five *****. After the match, Dragunov showed the scars of battle as he was recovering in the backstage area. Dragunov will now address the NXT Universe after his win.

As the current NXT UK Champion, Dragunov will likely face competitors not only from the UK brand but NXT as well. So what will Dragunov say, and who from the roster could step up and challenge him in the process?

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Kyle O’Reilly vs. Duke Hudson

O’Reilly faced a battle at NXT TakeOver. He walked out of the match the winner but carried with it a battered and beaten body. Kyle O’Reilly came out and addressed Samoa Joe and his current reign as the NXT Champion. Upon standing atop of the ramp, he was then attacked by Ridge Holland from behind. The unprovoked attack by Holland left O’Reilly on the stage in need of help. As the show progressed, O’Reilly was confronted by Duke Hudson backstage. He shared how he has had a ‘rough go of it’ earlier in the night.

O’Reilly was not going to allow himself to be disrespected and attacked Hudson. However, O’Reilly’s already weakened state-led Hudson to beat down O’Reilly until he left lying in a heap. Will this be the night that O’Reilly achieves retribution for the attack he received by Hudson? Or is this the night Duke Hudson shows why he was a threat in the NXT Breakout Tournament?

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NXT Preview for 8/31/21
Johnny Gargano vs LA Knight

Two men with separate agendas are coming together to face one another. In last week’s edition of NXT, Johnny Gargano was speaking to William Regal in his audience. During this time, he said that Regal had to call off the wedding between Indi Hartwell and Dexter Lumis. As Regal was quick to deny Gargano’s request, LA Knight comes charging into the office pleading his case. Knight wanted Regal to do something about the current NXT Championship group of talent vying for a shot at the title.

Earlier in the night, Samoa Joe was confronted with several of those lobbying for a shot at the title. Joe cleared the ring of all of those that were a threat to him, including LA Knight. With Gargano and Knight fighting to be heard by Regal, who will command the General Manager’s attention after tonight?


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NXT Preview for 8/31/21
Tommaso Ciampa vs. Ridge Holland

Even as the names of those involved in this match are typed, it’s impossible not to feel sore. The sheer brutality that will come from these two competitors is second to only that of a battle between Ciampa and Dunne. Holland’s return from injury has seen him have his sights set on Timothy Thatcher and result in him completely tearing him apart. It was a shock to see him administer as much damage as he had to Toothless Timmy. Tommaso Ciampa comes into this match seeking retribution for what happened the previous week to his partner.

With the returning Danny Burch into this factions fold, Ciampa could be in trouble if he ends up becoming an island all to his own? Will Ciampa achieve retribution for his fallen compadre? Or will Dunne, Lorcan, & Burch all play a part in this match and Holland’s success?

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Ikemen Jiro vs. Roderick Strong

Last week, Diamond Mine member Roderick Strong continued on with his open challenge to face anyone on NXT. It was revealed this past week that NXT Breakout tournament competitor Ikemen Jiro has answered the challenge. The man armed with the power of the jacket has decided to step up and face the former NXT North American Champion. In preparation for his upcoming NXT Cruiserweight Championship match, Strong faces the challenge of an aspiring NXT talent.

Jiro brings with him all the flare and energy that the NXT Universe has become synonymous with. But, will he be walking in as a lamb into Strong’s lion den? Or will he shock the world and rise to the challenge of Diamond Mine’s most prized commodity.

What To Expect:

  • Who will step up to the MSK and become the next challengers for the NXT Tag Team Championship?
  • Will there be an update on the status of KUSHIDA?
  • Will Kay Lee Ray become the next threat to Raquel Gonzalez‘ NXT Women’s Championship?


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