WWE confirmed that Bray Wyatt suffered a right calf injury in the match with WWE World Heavyweight Champion Roman Reigns tonight in Italy. As noted, the injury came when Wyatt was backing out of the corner after the referee’s 4 count. He slipped on the mat, landed bad and was unable to continue. A correspondent in attendance called it a freak accident.
WWE wrote the following:
Bray Wyatt suffered a right calf injury on Wednesday, WWE.com has learned. The injury came during Wyatt’s match on the first Live Event of WWE’s European tour in Milan, Italy.
We will keep you updated on Wyatt’s status.
– via Wrestling Inc.
God damn it. If you’ve watched the last two Raw’s, hopefully you’ve noticed a shift in character for THE most underutilized guy on the roster, Bray Wyatt. On the Raw after WrestleMania, Wyatt and his Family attacked the League of Nations, a heel faction. On this past Monday’s Raw, Wyatt tagged with the sweet handsome prince Roman Reigns in the main event, and even secured the winning pin fall. The crowd loved him both times, and it finally seemed WWE got the memo that Wyatt was too charismatic and unique to be a heel, so they let him do his thing and let the crowd be enamored with him. But since we can’t have nice things, Wyatt got hurt at a stupid live event last night, and it was one of those non contact injuries that haunt my dreams. Whenever something is described as a ‘freak accident’, it’s never a good thing, but I really hope Wyatt isn’t seriously hurt. It seems like they’re positioning him to chase the title after the Styles/Reigns feud, so maybe giving him a few weeks off to have him fresh for Extreme Rules wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. If he is seriously hurt, I’m going to light myself on fire.
Rather upside down start to 2016 as tomorrow I will head to Birmingham for shoulder surgery. Life’s full of set backs but #nevergiveup
— John Cena (@JohnCena) January 7, 2016
Before I get started, Cena’s injury, combined with the injuries of Rollins, Orton, Daniel Bryan & (to a lesser degree) Cesaro, Barrett etc. is the worst possible news for the WWE heading into WrestleMania season. To make matters worse, WWE is trying to sell out Cowboys Stadium, which means somehow getting 100,000+ people to buy tickets to an event without a plethora of top stars. Barring any other awful news, The Rock, Undertaker, Lesnar and active top stars will be in Dallas, but not having the others is going to hurt. With that said, just as Rollins and Orton’s injuries opened the door for top superstars to step up, Cena’s injury might do more than that. It’s no secret that the WWE is in both a creative and ratings slump, and most of the blame is falling on the shoulders of Vince McMahon. Luckily for McMahon, this is not unchartered territory.
The WWE went through a similar lull in the mid 90s, the only difference that time being the emergence of true competition in the form of WCW. McMahon, sick of falling behind in the ratings, gave his performers more control of their characters and allowed them to be edgier, and thus the most successful period in wrestling history was born. In 2016, there is no viable competition to the WWE. Companies like ROH, Lucha Underground and NJPW, while popular, cannot compete with the advertising and TV deals that WWE has. While competition might not force McMahon to make changes, injuries could. I’m not saying the WWE needs another Attitude Era, because while that was successful, the in ring product is far superior now. Guys getting hit in the head with chairs and girls walking around in bikinis worked in the 90s, but that time has come and passed. Now more than ever, the WWE needs major characters, whether baby face or villain, that fans can relate to. No more 50/50 booking. No more safety net. The WWE roster has never been deeper or more talented, and now is the time for McMahon to let the performers, the ones who have always bailed him out in the past, do their job. Monday’s Raw was a good start, with Del Rio and Rusev forming a solid tag team and the Social Outcasts (Heath Slater, Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel & Adam Rose) getting a win AND some microphone time. McMahon doesn’t like to admit when things are going bad, but he’s done it before and adjusted, and a serious injury to the face of the WWE might just be exactly what needed to happen to shake things up.
— TJ Wilson (@KiddWWE) June 25, 2015
Tyson Kidd had major neck surgery after his in ring injury with Samoa Joe a few weeks back, and while it’s not a life threatening injury, he will be out of action for at least 14 months. The injury comes at an especially tough time, since Kidd and his tag team partner Cesaro (Best Team Ever) were on a roll as of late. They won the tag team titles, which they eventually lost to New Day, but for the last few months they were the most exciting team on WWE TV. While the injury was definitely a downer, Kidd’s tag team partner and real life best friend Cesaro was there to cheer him up after surgery. I don’t know where the surgery took place, but I do know the schedule these wrestlers are on, so for Cesaro to take time to go and visit Tyson is pretty awesome. Hopefully Kidd has a successful recovery and we the BTE in action again one day.
The road to Battleground is in full swing, and Monday’s Raw from Indiana setup a few matches that we’ll see on the card. We already knew about Brock Lesnar vs. Seth Rollins for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, but now a IC and US title match will also be on the show. John Cena spoke French, Summer Rae may be aligning with Rusev and Zack Ryder lost again. Let’s get to the five stars from last night’s Raw!
1. Brock Lesnar
Brock Lesnar started and ended Raw, and that is always a good thing. Most Raw’s start off with long winded promo’s, but when it’s Paul Heyman talking, you know you’re in for a solid 15 minutes. Heyman, as he always does, hyped up the Battleground match while making Brock Lesnar seem like the baddest dude in the world. You may think that’s an easy task, especially with a guy like Brock Lesnar standing there looking like a hungry monster, but Heyman does it so eloquently it’s a joy to watch. Lesnar/Rollins has a chance to be the best pay per view main event this year if it’s done correctly, and we got a little taste of it at the end of Raw. Lesnar suplexed Rollins three times, and if Rollins isn’t the best seller of a German suplex than I would like to know who is. He bounces off the mat and flips over at the same time, making a German suplex look like legitimately the most ferocious move in the world. I’m kind of torn on the end of Raw, where Mercury, Kane and Rollins beat up Lesnar (Noble would have joined them if Lesnar hadn’t speared him into the barricade, legitimately breaking three of his ribs). It doesn’t necessarily hurt to make Lesnar look human, and if you want the fans to believe in a competitive match at Battleground, you have to do this. If Lesnar just kills everyone leading up to Battleground but then has a back and forth type of match with Rollins, it wouldn’t’ make sense. But if Lesnar can be taken out when the numbers aren’t in his favor, or he has a bum leg going into the match, it makes it that much more interesting. The flip side to this is that we’re talking about Brock Lesnar. He’s the most believable wrestler in WWE history. He has no gimmick, he just walks out with that intense stare and then brutalizes whoever happens to be in front of him. We still have 3 Raw’s before Battleground, so I’ll wait and see what they do with Lesnar before casting too much judgment.
2. Prime Time Players
Hey, look how easy it is to build up a tag team! The Prime Time Players (surprisingly) won the Tag Team belts at MITB, and are now on a little bit of a roll. The New Day are still great, as shown by their backstage food sharing during the PTP’s match and their ringside hijinks during Kofi/Neville. But the PTP have taken the place of Cesaro/Kidd (sadness) and when they’re given some time in the ring put on a solid match. Besides Kane being a prominent figure on every Raw and pay per view, my biggest complaint with the WWE is making their champions look weak in non title matches. If you’re building to a tag team title match, there are two things you shouldn’t do: 1. have the two teams wrestle BEFORE the tag title match. No matter who wins, it doesn’t make sense. Why would we want to see the same match again? 2. Make sure the champions look good heading into the title match. If the PTP are fighting New Day for the titles and they lose to the Ascension, why would I want to watch them fight New Day? The champions mean you are the best in that division, and should be booked that way unless someone else usurps you as the best. I love the PTP build, and both Darren and Titus look great in the ring. The entertainment was always there, and it looks like their wrestling skill is following suit.
3. Roman Reigns
Another Raw, another really solid Roman Reigns singles match. He’s dropped the long, fairy tale promos and stuck to punching people in the mouth and flying through the air like a god damn gazelle. He’s like a lesser Brock Lesnar: when you see someone like Roman Reigns walk out, you don’t want to see him talk, you want to see him beat the crap out of someone. As luck would have it, it just so happens that Roman is great at beating the crap out of people, and he and Sheamus really laid into each other in this match. That apron dropkick followed up by the leaping clothesline on the table was awesome, and I was hoping for a clean finish, but we can’t always get what we want. I love Wyatt, and I love that he’s this creepy wall writer, but I do wish they saved this for after the match. WWE ends too many matches with distraction finishes, or guys who just leave the ring and run to the back to confront the guy on the big screen. Save this for after the match so at least we have a winner who has some in ring momentum. As far as Wyatt goes, his biggest problem is that he has no one to play off of. Dean Ambrose, John Cena, Roman Reigns; these are all people, not characters. If you want him to be the new Undertaker, create some new Kane and Mankind’s that he can play off of.
This was as good as a Ryback/Mark Henry match is going to be, but once again, the champion won and looks great heading into a title match, so no complaints from me. I also love that Ryback took out Big show backstage AFTER Show initiated the confrontation. Ryback was the good guy giving an interview after a win and Big Show was the bad guy being an asshole and trying to start something. Wrestling is fun when the characters know and accept their roles, and Ryback should be able to toss around Big Show. He’s got arms the size of small cars. Now let’s get Miz back in here and have ourselves a nice little triple threat feud.
5. Seth Rollins
This goes with my Lesnar blurb above, but Rollins getting the best of the beast and possibly injuring him can only accentuate their title match at Background. As much as I loved seeing Lesnar murder Cena at last year’s Summerslam, Rollins is too good and too athletic for that to happen. That’s not saying Lesnar couldn’t do it, but I’d rather see a match where both guys get in their shots. If Lesnar is at 100%, that just can’t happen. If Rollins comes out on Monday and brags about how he hurt Lesnar and does general asshole-ish things, how bad are you going to be rooting for Lesnar to rip him apart? I already want Lesnar to get revenge for WM 31, but Rollins can really get under your skin, so I expect him to be at his weasel-ish beast in the coming weeks. When Lesnar finally gets his hands on him, it will all be worth it.
If This Fan Photo Is To Be Believed, Rusev May Be Hurt & Out Of His IC Title Match At Elimination Chamber #WWE
He’s injured 👀 pic.twitter.com/mUpfaLelG4
— Leah (@_BellaFam) May 27, 2015
So Rusev hasn’t had the best couple of months. He’s lost to John Cena at three straight pay per views, his Ravishing Russian Lana has left him for Dolph Ziggler, and now he’s probably hurt and won’t be able to fight for the IC title at Elimination Chamber. For a guy who was once one of the best guys on the roster and who rode to the ring at WrestleMania on a god damn tank, this is just a series of bad things happening that I hope he can recover from. WWE has this terrible habit of building someone up so high that the inevitable fall is just as bad, and that’s what happened with Rusev. Losing to Cena three pay per views in a row doesn’t help, but that’s the norm nowadays. If he’s hurt, I wish him a speedy recovery, and if its just a precaution, I hope he crushes everyone and wins the IC title this Sunday.