AEW sensation Thunder Rosa recently raised concerns over WWE's portrayal of Ridge Holland in NXT. In a thought-provoking segment on "Busted Open," Rosa questioned the wisdom of WWE's creative direction with Holland, particularly in light of his involvement in a real-life injury of fellow wrestler Big E last year on "WWE SmackDown." The storyline in question unfolded on a recent episode of "NXT," where Holland, having made his comeback, assaulted NXT World Champion Ilja Dragunov, resulting in a scripted injury.
This plot twist closely mirrors Holland's accidental injury of Big E, which tragically ended the latter's career. Thunder Rosa, known for her candid insights, expressed her apprehension about blurring the lines between fiction and reality in wrestling storylines.
She pointed out the potential risks of such narrative choices, especially when they align too closely with actual events. "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," Rosa commented.
The AEW star highlighted the backlash Holland faced following the incident with Big E, including severe criticism and possible death threats. She expressed concern that continuing to portray Holland in injury-related storylines could further damage his reputation and possibly label him as an unsafe worker in the industry.
Rosa Critiques Storyline Risks
Rosa acknowledged the skillful execution of the angle by Holland and Dragunov, yet she emphasized the need for a significant payoff to justify such a risky storyline. "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," she stated. Her remarks reflect a broader debate within professional wrestling about the balance between storytelling and the real-life implications for the performers involved.
This discussion comes at a pivotal moment for Holland's career, as the wrestling community watches closely to see how WWE will navigate this controversial storyline. Rosa's comments add a significant layer to this narrative, highlighting the complexities and ethical considerations of professional wrestling storytelling.