Whether we like it or not as wrestling fans, many of our favorite and not-so-favorite wrestlers find themselves on the sidelines for one reason or another. Indeed, the physical aspect of sports entertainment often means wrestling injuries could be as severe, if not more severe than the ones suffered by athletes in other sports. And while it isn’t unusual for wrestlers to compete in pain, they often have to face reality in the form of extended absences from the ring. Looking at the WWE roster at the moment, there are more than a few wrestlers who are currently inactive due to injury, and we shall now be taking a look at all of them, and when we can expect to see them back in the ring.
Looking at the Monday Night Raw roster, there’s a ton of injuries to cover, but we might as well start out with someone whom we haven’t seen on television in what seems like forever. In a recent appearance on Sam Roberts’ podcast, Big Cass said that he hopes to be back right before WrestleMania 34. Should the timetable turn out to be accurate, it won’t be surprising to see Cass make an appearance at the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal as he likely has a lot of catching up to do having been sidelined since August. At least he has a tentative return date – the same cannot be said about R-Truth, who’s currently out due to shoulder surgery though it’s not like he’s been playing a key role on the red brand anyway.
Speaking of veteran wrestlers on Monday Night Raw, we haven’t heard much as of late about Jeff Hardy‘s return date; as of September, he was given six to nine months to recover from rotator cuff surgery. Not long after, Big Show said he’ll be back “faster than greased lightning” from his hip surgery, though things have been quiet since then; perhaps a farewell tour is in order for the World’s Largest Athlete given his rumored plans to retire in 2018. And since Alicia Fox is the longest-tenured female performer in the WWE, she does definitely qualify as a Raw veteran; PWInsider wrote that she won’t be cleared for “at least a few months” after suffering a broken tailbone shortly before the Royal Rumble.
Moving on to the bigger names on Raw, the official word from WWE is that Dean Ambrose’s triceps injury will keep him out for about nine months. As his injury occurred in December, that could mean a return in time for, or shortly after SummerSlam. But since there had been a lot of talk about Ambrose turning heel before he got hurt, it won’t be shocking if the timeline was exaggerated so he could execute a surprise heel turn on the road to WrestleMania, presumably on his Shield brother, Seth Rollins. Meanwhile, the latest from Dave Meltzer at the Wrestling Observer points to Samoa Joe being back in time for ‘Mania, with a potential mid-March return.
Raw’s injury problems are also affecting the red brand’s younger talents, as Paige missed the women’s Royal Rumble last week and is widely rumored to be effectively retired at only 25-years-old. Likewise, Jason Jordan is currently dealing with neck injuries, and the immediate future also doesn’t look too bright for Kurt Angle’s kayfabe son. According to a recent episode of Wrestling Observer Radio, Jordan could potentially miss up to a year of action if he decides to have surgery on his neck. He may be one of Raw‘s more annoying characters, but here’s hoping Jordan doesn’t have to miss that much time as he’s just 29 and in the prime of his career.
The Cruiserweight Division currently has two injured talents – Brian Kendrick, who suffered facial injuries after taking a GTS from Hideo Itami, and Noam Dar, who underwent knee surgery in December. It’s still unclear how much longer Kendrick will remain sidelined, while Dar was given a five-month recovery timeline which hints he may be back sometime this spring.
Monday Night Raw may be riddled with injuries, but fortunately SmackDown Live has a much cleaner collective bill of health as of the moment, with only lower-carders Epico Colon and Samir Singh on the injured list as of this writing. Epico, who has barely been on television alongside his cousin Primo underwent shoulder surgery last week but has no tentative timeline for his return as of yet. Likewise, there’s no specific return date for Singh, but his torn ACL could leave Jinder Mahal with only one Singh Brother as his lackey for the next six to nine months or so.
Lastly, Drew McIntyre is the only NXT talent on the injured list having suffered a bicep tear during a match against Andrade “Cien” Almas at NXT TakeOver: WarGames last November. Per Pro Wrestling Sheet, the former NXT Champion is targeting a return in time for WrestleMania weekend. Could this mean a ‘Mania appearance for the onetime “Chosen One” as he makes his main roster return? We don’t know yet, but we’re hoping he recovers successfully so he could truly make his second WWE run much better than the last.
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