The February 7th episode of WWE NXT saw JD McDonagh square off against Carmelo Hayes. The match was full of action as the two countered each other’s signature offense, but things took a turn when in the middle of the bout, theme music rang out throughout the arena.
To the shock of the crowd, former NXT UK Champion Ilja Dragunov made his entrance for the first time since October, when he suffered a storyline injury at the hands of McDonagh to allow him to be written off television while he sorted some visa issues. Dragunov knocked down Trick Williams on the outside of the ring, and the distraction of his appearance allowed Hayes to get a roll-up pinfall victory over McDonagh.
Though it appeared as though Dragunov might be going after Hayes upon his return, he launched himself over the two-time North American Champion and went after McDonagh, looking to exact revenge for being taken out of action in October. He laid waste to the Irishman before McDonagh escaped, running out of the arena in fear as Dragunov chased him.
JD McDonagh Gave A Time Frame For His In-Ring Return Following An Eye Injury
Taking to social media ahead of WWE NXT’s weekend live events, the former Jordan Devlin announced that he would be unable to perform in front of the Florida fans as he’d suffered a detached retina. He attributed the injury to Dragunov’s attack, though it is unknown at this time whether it was incurred during the attack or the match that preceded it.
McDonagh won’t be out of action for long, though, and estimates being recovered in 10-14 days.
“.@WWENXT fans attending Live Events in Tampa/Citrus Springs this weekend – Unfortunately, after a sneak attack on Tuesday, I’ve got a detached retina in my right eye. Waiting on a treatment plan, but I estimate a 10-14 day recovery time. 10-14 days, [Dragunov]. Count em.”
.@WWENXT fans attending Live Events in Tampa/Citrus Springs this weekend – Unfortunately, after a sneak attack on Tuesday, I've got a detached retina in my right eye.
Waiting on a treatment plan, but I estimate a 10-14 day recovery time.
10-14 days, @UNBESIEGBAR_ZAR. Count em. pic.twitter.com/P4GfpbnkUG
— JD McDonagh (@jd_mcdonagh) February 9, 2023
Elsewhere on the February 7th episode of WWE NXT, Bayley made her return to the brand for the first time since 2021 to conduct a talk show segment in hopes of reuniting the members of Toxic Attraction. While it looked like her efforts would be successful, Jacy Jayne shocked the crowd when she attacked Gigi Dolin, delivering a brutal superkick before throwing her now-former partner into the Ding Dong Hello door.
Dolin took to social media to show off injuries of her own following the segment.