Two weeks worth of NXT shows were taped to air over the holiday season and one match on the show might well have spelled disaster for NXT Champion Ilja Dragunov.
The last time Ilja Dragunov was seen by fans at home in a WWE ring was at Deadline when he successfully defended his NXT Championship against Baron Corbin. Dragunov knows he faces a challenge from Trick Williams in his future after Williams stunned the field with a thrilling come-from-behind victory in the men’s Iron Survivor Challenge.
However, before a showdown between Dragunov and Williams takes place, the NXT Champion was in a reflective mood as he appeared before the crowd on the NXT show that will air on December 19.
Ilja Dragunov Stretchered Out Of NXT Match
Dragunov reflected on his achievements in 2023 before discussing his plans for the coming year when he was interrupted by Ridge Holland. Holland recently ended his Brawling Brutes partnership with Butch on the WWE main roster and told Dragunov that he wanted to climb back up the ranks in NXT to earn a title shot.
Ilja Dragunov told Holland there was no reason to wait and instead agreed to the match taking place later in the show. However, he perhaps wishes he hadn’t as the match with Holland had to be called off after the English star apparently dropped Dragunov on his head. Dragunov was attended to by medics and officials and placed in a neck brace before he was stretchered out of the arena while Ridge Holland looked concerned.
There have been suggestions that the situation is part of a new storyline on the brand. Ridge Holland delivered the unfortunate suplex that saw Big E break his neck in March 2022. The former WWE Champion has been missing from the ring ever since but Big E has noted that he is “almost back to 100%.”