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Ilja Dragunov NXT Update: Injury News and NXT Tapings Highlights

The latest NXT television tapings have brought both excitement and concern to the WWE Universe. Taking place at the Performance Center in Orlando, Florida, the episodes set for December 19th and 26th have unleashed a series of significant moments, especially concerning NXT Champion Ilja Dragunov.

During the December 19th taping, a potentially disheartening incident unfolded as Dragunov, engaged in a match against Ridge Holland, appeared to suffer a serious injury following a devastating suplex. Medical personnel promptly addressed the situation, immobilizing Dragunov and transporting him out on a stretcher. However, sources including Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful have since reported that this incident was a planned segment for storyline purposes and not an actual injury.

Earlier in the night, Ilja Dragunov had been involved in another significant moment. He delivered an impassioned in-ring promo reflecting on his achievements in 2023 and sharing his aspirations for the following year. Holland interrupted, announcing his return to NXT and his desire for redemption – though not immediately seeking a title match. Despite this, Dragunov offered Holland a match that same night, showcasing his willingness to take on challengers at any moment.

In other NXT tapings news, Fallon Henley emerged victorious against Tiffany Stratton. The match concluded with a roll-up pinfall, triggering a backstage brawl between the competitors. The NXT Men’s Breakout Tournament saw its first-round matches, where Lexis King triumphed over Dion Lennox and Tavion Heights overcame Luca Crusifino. The semifinal round featured Riley Osborne defeating Lexis King and Oba Femi securing a win against Tavion Heights.

The NXT Women’s Division also heated up as Izzi Dame & Kiana James claimed victory over Jacy Jayne and Thea Hail. Backstage tension escalated when Arianna Grace clashed with Roxanne Perez, resulting in a fierce slap.

NXT North American Champion Dragon Lee retained his title in a Triple Threat match against Charlie Dempsey and Joe Coffey in dynamic fashion. The bout included interference, underhanded tactics, and a post-match confrontation that saw Lee receiving backup from LWO’s Joaquin Wilde and Cruz Del Toro.

The December 26th tapings featured standout moments including Bron Breakker besting Nathan Frazer, Joe Gacy outmatching Joe Coffey, and Core Jade pinning Karmen Petrovic in a display of dominance. The NXT Heritage Cup Championship saw champion Noam Dar defend his title against Josh Briggs in a match that ended in disqualification, maintaining Dar’s reign.

In an All or Nothing match, OTM’s Lucien Price & Bronco Nima emerged victorious over Chase U’s Duke Hudson & Andre Chase, with NXT Tag Team Champions observing from above.

The tapings also included an NXT Underground match where Eddy Thorpe claimed a countout win over Dijak, leaving the audience captivated by the sleeper and DDT executed through the announcer’s table.

The incidents and results at these NXT tapings pave the path for what promises to be an enthralling end to 2023 and an explosive start to the new year. As always, stay tuned to the Pro Wrestling News Hub for more detailed updates and analyses on all things NXT and beyond.

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