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WWE NXT: “TONE DEAF” injury angle was NOT legit

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In the world of professional wrestling, the line between reality and scripted drama often blurs, leaving fans questioning what’s real and what’s part of the show. A recent incident on WWE NXT involving NXT Champion Ilja Dragunov has sparked such a debate.

On December 19th, during a WWE NXT event, a match featuring Ilja Dragunov and SmackDown’s Ridge Holland took an unexpected turn.

The bout was abruptly halted when Dragunov appeared to be seriously injured, leading to him being stretchered out of the arena.

This scene closely mirrored a real-life incident involving Holland and Big E nearly two years prior, adding a layer of realism to the storyline.

Behind the Scenes of the WWE NXT Dragunov Angle

A report from Fightful Select confirmed that the injury angle was, in fact, a scripted part of the show.

Despite some controversy within WWE about the decision to proceed with this storyline, it was executed as planned. The producers and those involved were reportedly satisfied with both the performance and the audience’s reaction.

Most attendees understood it was a staged angle, especially given the quick announcement of the next show’s commencement during the taping.

The angle was crafted with meticulous attention to detail, including cameras following Dragunov to an ambulance and capturing its departure. This level of realism was intended to blur the lines between fiction and reality, a common practice in professional wrestling to heighten drama and engagement.

WWE NXT Angle: Audience Reaction and Controversy

The reaction to the angle was mixed. While some praised the execution and the performers’ commitment, others criticised it as being in poor taste, especially considering the real injuries that have occurred in the wrestling world.

The producers, however, seemed pleased with the crowd’s response, indicating that the angle achieved its intended effect.


  1. Was Ilja Dragunov’s injury on WWE NXT real?
    • No, the injury was part of a scripted angle.
  2. Why did WWE choose to portray a fake injury?
    • It was a creative decision to add drama and realism to the storyline.
  3. How did the audience react to the injury angle?
    • The reaction was mixed, with some recognizing it as part of the show and others expressing concern.
  4. What does this incident say about professional wrestling?
    • It underscores the blend of reality and fiction in wrestling and the lengths performers go to entertain.
  5. Will there be any follow-up to this storyline?
    • Further developments in the storyline are expected, but specific details have not been disclosed.
Written by
Jake Skudder
Jake is an SEO-minded Combat Sports, Gaming and Pro Wrestling writer and successful Editor in Chief. He has more than ten years of experience covering mixed martial arts, pro wrestling and gaming across a number of publications, starting at SEScoops in 2012 under the name Jake Jeremy.