WWE has a ton of storylines going on for all their three shows, but NXT might have beaten out every other brand as far as controversial angles are concerned. That said, Thunder Rosa decided to call out WWE over one particular angle in NXT.

The December 19th episode of WWE NXT was taped in advance, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t many fans who don’t check spoilers. This week’s NXT saw Ilja Dragunov facing off against Ridge Holland, who was back in NXT following his SmackDown departure.

Ilja Dragunov is in the middle of an impressive run as NXT Champion, but fans feared it might have come to an abrupt end after this week’s show. This is because Ridge Holland spiked Ilja Dragunov on the head with a DDT, which rendered him motionless and the match had to be called off. Dragunov was then stretchered out to the back – shocking fans.

While speaking on Busted Open Radio, Thunder Rosa talked about the angle and called out WWE for portraying Ridge Holland in that light, as it draws far too close to home considering Holland might have ended Big E’s career after breaking his neck last year.


“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?”

Ridge Holland also broke his silence following the controversial angle. WWE’s internal reaction to the stretcher spot was also revealed. It remains to be seen when Dragunov will return to NXT television as New Year’s Evil is just around the corner.

What’s your view on what Thunder Rosa said? Do you feel the Ilja Dragunov’s injury angle is in bad taste? Let us know in the comments section below!

Subhojeet Mukherjee

Subhojeet is a professional wrestling fan for over 22 years. He got captivated by the sport during the Monday Night Wars and has a passion for it ever since. He also enjoys TV shows, movies, anime, novels and music, which broadens his perspective and appreciation for wrestling. He is a knowledgeable and respected voice in the industry.

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