When a WWE Superstar is written off television, it is usually related to an injury that is keeping them out of action. Throughout wrestling history, writers have always used a real life injury as an excuse to book a beatdown on television to justify a wrestler's absence, especially if they are set to miss an extended period. In the past few months, the WWE has had a number of Superstars sustain injuries - many of which required surgeries and now they are in recovery mode in hopes of getting back to the ring as soon as possible.
That may be the most common factor as to why fans haven't seen some of their favorites lately, some names may be cleared to compete but the creative team has no plans for them at the moment. With the Royal Rumble and WrestleMania coming up in the next few months, that will surely bring alone many returns to the company. These days, many of the older stars have been moved to a part time schedule, allowing them to make a reduce amount of appearances per year.
Although they may not have appeared on TV lately, some are already being advertised to compete at later dates. However, the return dates for many of these Superstars happen to be unknown at the moment as they will be sidelined until WWE doctors give them the green light to return to action. With today's list, we look at 20 WWE stars who have been kept off TV and the reason behind their absence.
This past July, Goldust underwent surgery on both of his knees that put him out of action for an indefinite period. He is set to turn 50 years old in April, and with his recent injury troubles, we have to imagine that Goldust won't be wrestling for much longer. He had previously hinted towards retirement since he had accomplished his goals in the WWE, so it is likely that Goldust will transition into a backstage role at some point. Once he is fully cleared to return to the ring, Goldust will likely come back to WWE programming in some capacity.
19 Jason Jordan
Jason Jordan hasn't been seen on WWE television since as he battled neck issues. Despite rumors of his potential return, it has been delayed a number of times with reports suggesting that he may be forced to retire after all. More recently, Jordan has shared some positives news by claiming that he is on the road to recovery, while his wife indicated that he will be back in the ring. His kayfabe father Kurt Angle also claimed that Jordan will be back in the ring, so it appears that he will be back on television once he is fully cleared to compete again.
18 Sin Cara
Sin Cara has been written off television since his injury in August, and he is now preparing his in-ring return. During a recent interview on Peluche En El Estuche, he revealed his goal to be healthy sometime in January 2019, believing that he will be ready to get back into the mix around that date. For now, he will remain off television until WWE doctors determine that he is healthy to make his way back into the ring. They surely won't risk his knee by bringing him too soon, so it wouldn't be surprising to see his return delayed for safety measures.
17 John Cena
John Cena's appearances have been very few throughout the year as he continues his transition into Hollywood. He spent several months living in China, working on his latest project with Jackie Chan. With the film taking much of Cena's time, he will soon be returning to the WWE to compete in many live events, scheduled for a few during the holidays. His role is unknown to date as Cena hasn't revealed how long he plans to stick around, but since WrestleMania 35 will be coming in a few months, then it is likely that we will be seeing much more of him for his next rivalry.
16 Kevin Owens
Kevin Owens has been away from the WWE since October when he sustained an injury that led to a surgery on both knees. Although he has remained active on social media, there haven't been many updates regarding his health. Some reports suggest that Owens will be ready to return before WrestleMania 35, although it is possible that the company will keep him on hold until the RAW afterwards. By the time Owens is fully cleared to return, it may be too late to insert him into a storyline so it does make sense to save him for a later date.
Fandango has been away from action since July when he tore his left labrum, putting him on the sidelines for several months. Just recently, it was reported that Fandango had been spotted at the WWE Performance Center where he has resumed workouts in preparations for his return. He is supposed to remain away from action until January of 2019, although the WWE may opt to not immediately use him.
Fandango continues to progress at the expected rate and given his recent activity, all signs point to him resurfacing on WWE television within the next few months to reunite with Tyler Breeze.
14 The Undertaker
The Undertaker's last appearance took place at Crown Jewel when he teamed up with Kane to take on Triple H and Shawn Michaels. And while he had been spotted backstage at a recent SmackDown taping, 'Taker will remain off television for now. He is expected to be apart of WrestleMania again, and possibly the upcoming Royal Rumble - although his potential opponent has yet to be decided. In the last few years, WWE have been very selective with their booking of The Undertaker, so it is possible that they will promote his next appearance date once WrestleMania season comes around next month.
13 Bray Wyatt
With the exception of an appearance at Starrcade, Bray Wyatt has been kept off television. Once it was revealed that Matt Hardy would be taking some time off, it made sense to also keep Wyatt off the television. He hadn't generated much interest on his own, so perhaps spending time away from WWE programming may do him wonders after all. Speculation have persisted regarding his future role with the company, although it seems like the WWE has yet to decide. They would have to be wise with their next move since Wyatt's reputation has already dwindled enough in the past two years.
Maryse's appearances have been very few in the past year. While she did compete in two matches this past September, and assisted The Miz in some of his contests, Maryse has been inactive for the most part. But even now that she is off television, Maryse is still attending shows from time to time although it is mainly to hang out with her husband behind the scenes. There has been no update regarding her status with the WWE, which is no surprise since the newborn baby is taking much of her time, but it is possible that she will be brought back in the next few months.
11 Kurt Angle
In August, Kurt Angle was written off television as the RAW General Manager to allow him to prepare to make more appearances as an active Superstar. Having been away from the ring for some time, Angle needed to shake off the rust as he prepared to possibly go on one final run. He came back in October and participated in Crown Jewel, then went on to lose to Drew McIntyre in convincing fashion on RAW. Since then, Angle has once again been written off WWE programming but that may not last long since rumors suggest that he may have a match at WrestleMania 35.
10 Tino Sabbatelli
From the NFL field to WWE ring, Tino Sabbatelli has had quite the transition in his career. While his NXT career got off to a promising start, and just as Sabbatelli was showing signs of improvement, he sustained a torn pec that is supposed to put him out of action for nine months. Having been away from the ring since April of 2018, Sabbatelli could be gearing up to return in the next two months to resume where he left. Any hopes of making a jump to the main roster have been put on hold following his injury, as Sabbatelli will surely spend many months to come in NXT.
9 Roman Reigns
By now, the majority of WWE fans have heard the news regarding Roman Reigns which kept him off television. But if you haven't kept up with the product lately, Reigns announced that his leukemia returned during an episode of Monday Night Raw, and that he would be taking time off to treat it. Having been the WWE Universal Champion at the time, he relinquished the title just two months after he had won it at SummerSlam against Brock Lesnar. There haven't been many updates regarding Reigns's status with the company, although it was announced that he had begun treatment in November.
8 Tye Dillinger
Coming off a successful run in NXT, Tye Dillinger was expected to have a smoother transition into the main roster. Plans haven't gone as predicted with Dillinger regressing from lack of opportunities as well as no sense of real direction for him. He had been apart of random and brief storylines, including his last television appearance when Randy Orton put him out of action. Of course Dillinger had sustained an injury in real life, but it was the company's way of writing him off the screen. No updates have been provided regarding Dillinger's next appearance, although his injury wasn't bad enough to keep him out for much longer.
7 Luke Harper
Fans have been wondering as to why Luke Harper disappeared off television out of nowhere, and it turned out to be a wrist injury that had been bothering him for weeks. Harper opted to go for a surgery since the creative team had no plans for him at the time, so it made sense for him to go for a full recovery instead. With his tag team partner set to miss action until April of 2019, that means that Harper will most likely also be kept away from television until then - unless the WWE chooses to put him in singles action.
For so many years, he was known to fans as The Big Red Machine, but Kane has become a part-time wrestler in the past two years. His appearances will only get fewer now that he has public responsibilities have taken over - as his last match took place at Crown Jewel. Kane has been recently advertised for an upcoming event in Knoxville, which is set to take place on January 12, 2019. As interesting as it would be to see Glenn Jacobs on WWE programming, we are much more likely to see him masked as usual. And the amount of times we see him on-screen will be fewer and further between.
5 Triple H
After tearing his pectoral muscle during Crown Jewel, Triple H underwent a surgery to repair it which will put him out of action for an extended period. It is unknown as to when he will be cleared again with some reports claiming that Triple H may miss out on WrestleMania 35. Given his age, recovery will certainly be longer so Triple H may appear on television in the near future, but he won't be competing in the ring. WWE had previously teased the possibility of another bout against Batista - which may take place at WrestleMania 35 after all - but that remains to be seen.
4 Erick Rowan
As previously mentioned, Luke Harper isn't the only one who sustained a recent injury. Erick Rowan has also been sidelined since August when he had a torn bicep that required an immediate surgery. While Harper will be cleared to return sooner, Rowan is unlikely to return before the next two to three months. Reports indicate that the WWE choose to wait until both Superstars are fully healed to bring them back at the same time. If Rowan's recovery progresses as well as the company is hoping, then they may get to participate in a match at WrestleMania 35 after all.
3 Matt Hardy
This past July, Matt Hardy began teasing retirement through various tweets and reports only increased the rumors. Once he disappeared off WWE television, fans believed that Hardy may transition into a non-wrestler role although the former kept quiet for the most part. In recent weeks, he has opened up about the number of injuries sustained over the past year - claiming that he still intends to come back as an active wrestler. Hardy doesn't have an exact date set for his clearance as he is simply taking time off to recover and fully heal. It will certainly be interesting to see how the WWE books him once he comes back.
2 Braun Strowman
The status of Braun Strowman is currently up in the air as the WWE awaits to see how he heals from his latest injury. While he was advertised for TLC in recent weeks, Strowman's status on WWE television for the next little while is up in the air and will depend on how his recovery goes. Strowman had been dealing with a number of nagging injuries in recent weeks, but his last bout at Survivor Series made things worse - which led to some time off from in-ring action. Following his absence from RAW, fans have began wondering whether he would miss more time than initially rumored.
1 Sami Zayn
Sami Zayn hasn't been seen since Money in the Bank on June 2018, and although reports did indicate that he was wrestling while injured - little did fans know that he required a surgery on his rotator cuffs. When he announced his surgery via social media, Zayn did note that he would be out for the remainder of the year, also adding that he hopes to return just in time for WrestleMania 35. Unless he is ready to go by February, then Zayn will sadly have to sit out the biggest event of the year as it would be late into the season to put him in a storyline.