The image of Buffalo Bills defensive back Damar Hamlin crumbling to the ground after making a tackle during a Monday Night Football game against the Cincinnati Bengals is still fresh in many viewers’ minds. Did a similar scenario play out during NXT Roadblock on Tuesday? Or was it a storyline?
NXT women’s champion Roxanne Perez, an up-and-coming 21-year star from Laredo, Texas, collapsed and fell to the mat after her successful title defense against former champion Meiko Satomura in the main event of the show. Satomura, who was a mentor to NXT, was paying her respects to Perez, raising her arm, when Perez fell face down on the mat.
A Repeat of 1995?
Commentator Booker T (Perez’s former teacher) and Satomura came to Perez’s aid. Several NXT referees rushed into the ring, and emergency medical personnel were called to help her. She was taken to an area hospital wearing a neck brace in an ambulance.
WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels, NXT’s senior vice president of talent development and creative, who supposedly passed out during a 1995 episode of Monday Night RAW (in a storyline), rushed to Perez’s side. The crowd was silent as Perez was treated and taken away.
On Tuesday, NXT’s Twitter account reported that Perez would be kept overnight in the hospital “for observation and continued testing.”
Nothing but a Storyline
If this was a faked collapse, shame on the NXT. And it appears it was fake. Several fans pointed out on social media that the referee didn’t put up the “X” sign that signals a real injury. During a pre-match interview, Perez talked about her grueling training to prepare to face Satomura. During that interview, she said she would “leave everything in that ring to keep the championship.” That appears to be the storyline.
Perez was hit hard in the head and neck several times and put in submission holds during the match. Did that cause a (storyline) concussion? NXT commentators noted the hard hits a couple of times during the match.
Perez was shown being wheeled through the backstage area into an ambulance. Would you really follow someone being taken in an ambulance after passing out if that was really the case? Did you see Damar Hamlin being taken away in an ambulance? Of course not.
Pro wrestling often blurs the lines between reality and fiction. Everyone knows that. But to present a passing-out storyline so soon after the Hamlin situation was a little too much.
Perez’s real name is Carla Gonzalez. She came to NXT from Ring of Honor, where she was the inaugural ROH women’s world champion, wrestling under the name Rok-C. That name is an homage to the Rock, but she “kind of switched up the letters a little bit, and then I use the dash … the C stands for my name, Carla.” She made her video game debut this year in WWE 2K23.