Backstage News On Ridge Holland Announcing Indefinite WWE Hiatus

During last night’s episode of WWE NXT, Ridge Holland made the surprising announcement that he will be stepping away from in-ring competition for an indefinite period. The former Brawling Brute member stated that he had made the decision in the interest of his family as well as his own mental health, going on to thank various NXT figures including William Regal and Shawn Michaels. He has since been moved to the alumni section of WWE’s website.

The announcement is seemingly linked to a controversial NXT segment last December in which Holland was accidentally responsible for a kayfabe neck injury to NXT Champion Ilja Dragunov during a match between the two. The angle appeared to be an attempt to replicate Holland’s role in legitimately breaking Big E’s neck by accident after an overhead belly-to-belly suplex from Holland caused The New Day member to land directly on the top of his head during the March 11th 2022 edition of SmackDown.

Fightful Select reports, however, that Holland’s hiatus is simply part of a storyline and is not meant to indicate a legitimate retirement. The outlet adds that Holland has been determined to do this story and that there has been no pushback to it behind the scenes despite backlash from some fans due to its apparent links to Big E’s legitimate injury. As a result, the storyline is expected to unfold as planned.

Holland last competed on the March 12th edition of NXT where he lost to Shawn Spears. Since returning to the black and gold brand late last year to revive his singles career, Holland hasn’t found much success – having only obtained two victories. While he did manage to defeat Joe Coffey handily back in January, his only other victory came via a disqualification against all three members of Gallus in a three-on-one handicap match.