By Chuck Carroll
The threat of an injury bug is always present in any sport, but it seems to have taken more than its fare share of bites out of WWE in recent months.
The sports-entertainment leader is rumored to be considering a major creative shakeup for one of its most popular superstars, in an effort to keep her character fresh while she remains medically unable to compete.
WWE is contemplating moving Alexa Bliss into the role of general manager of RAW, according to Mike Johnson of PWInsider. The company appears to have already laid the groundwork for such a transition shortly after next month’s TLC pay-per-view if they opt to move in that direction.
The 27-year-old underwent medical testing while in Los Angeles for Survivor Series, and there is “no clear cut indication that she will be returning to the ring anytime soon,” Johnson added.
The five-time women’s champion hasn’t wrestled since abruptly being pulled from in-ring competition just days before October’s WWE Evolution event, where she was scheduled to team with Mickie James to face Trish Stratus and Lita. Bliss is believed to have sustained multiple concussions in a short period of time, according to Dave Meltzer of The Wresting Observer.
Her situation is not believed to be as dire as the one faced by Daniel Bryan, who at one point was forced into retirement due to the effects of repeated head trauma. The Ohio-native also shot down rumors of a permanent hiatus by posting an image of Arnold Schwarzenegger as The Terminator with the caption, “I’m not going anywhere.”
However, days later she hinted on Twitter that it would be a while before fans see her wrestle again. “Done looking for perfection, now looking for progress. New Focus, New motivation . Starting slow, keeping it light in the gym, light in the ring & step by step coming back better, stronger & healthier,” she wrote.
Given the company’s hard-line stance on protecting talents following concussions, a prolonged absence would make sense in this situation. There is no need to rush the young Superstar back and risk further injury with so many fruitful years of competition ahead of her.
Bliss’s in-ring absence comes at a time when SmackDown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch is also being kept out of the ring due to a head injury. Lynch was forced out of a highly anticipated match against Ronda Rousey after suffering a concussion and nasal fracture just nights before the bout was to take place at Survivor Series last Sunday. “The Man” was left bloodied and battered after taking an errant right hand from Nia Jax during the closing moments of Monday Night RAW.
While in Los Angeles, Lynch tweeted a photo of herself receiving medical treatment and referencing that she was in “doctor jail” for the time being.
On the men’s side, WWE was dealt another blow just weeks after former Universal Champion Roman Reigns relinquished the title and took a leave of absence to battle leukemia.
Braun Strowman is set to undergo surgery to repair an injury to his arm and will be sidelined for at least a few weeks. “The Monster Among Men” was written off TV Monday by taking a hellacious beating from Baron Corbin, Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley.
In a statement that furthered the storyline, WWE claimed that the attack shattered his elbow. The reality doesn’t appear to be quite that sinister as he is still scheduled to face Corbin in a Tables, Ladders and Chairs Match at the TLC pay-per-view on December 16. The expectation within the company is that he should be ready to go, according to Johnson. Like Bliss, Strowman will also likely remain in front of the camera in a non-physical capacity until he is cleared to return to action.
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News & Notes
Cody Rhodes has confirmed his final match with Ring of Honor will be for the World Championship against Jay Lethal at the Final Battle pay-per-view in New York City on December 14.
Additionally, Zack Sabre Jr. will debut for ROH on the show. He’s scheduled to face Jonathan Gresham.
It was also announced that Jeff Cobb would defend the World Television Championship against Hangman Page at the show.
Chuck Carroll is former pro wrestling announcer and referee turned sports media personality. He once appeared on Monday Night RAW when he presented Robert Griffin III with a WWE title belt in the Redskins locker room.
Follow him on Twitter @ChuckCarrollWLC.