AEW star addresses the WWE NXT angle with Ilja Dragunov being “injured” by Ridge Holland

As seen during the December 19th 2023 edition of WWE NXT, NXT champion Ilja Dragunov was “injured” by Ridge Holland. Dragunov ended up being taken out of the ring on a stretcher. The show was taped last week and some fans at the time thought that Dragunov was legitimately hurt because of Holland’s history with injuring people including Big E.

While appearing on Busted Open Radio, AEW star Thunder Rosa addressed the angle…

“When you have to run angles when it’s very close to reality … his opponent, of course, was the one who was in the ring when Big E got hurt, and he got hurt fairly badly to the point where it’s an ending career injury. It got intense [on Twitter] because people were calling him [Holland] all kinds of stuff, probably even got death threats, who knows.”

“For me, personally, there are certain things that … they have to have a big payoff and I think you have to be in the ring and you have to sign it with blood. When you’re playing with fire with someone who already has a bad ‘track record,’ it’s going to be difficult. If they label him as an unsafe worker and they then do this and it turns out to be true, what else are they gonna do?” (quotes courtesy of