Injuries in pro wrestling are a part of the profession. Whether they are severe or minor, they cannot be avoided in any combat sport. Unfortunately for some wrestlers, these injuries have threatened their careers, while others have been able to recover fully.
WWE has done a great job of protecting their wrestlers from most incidents and taking extra precautions to avoid certain moves being performed, but accidents and things of that nature cannot be avoided.
Today, we look at five current WWE superstars who are legitimately injured and their prognosis.
#5. Former WWE Champion Big E suffered a broken neck, an in-ring career in doubt
The former WWE Champion suffered a horrific injury months ago during an episode of SmackDown in March 2022. Big E was on the receiving end of an overhead Belly-to-Belly Suplex by Ridge Holland when he landed awkwardly on his head, breaking his neck.
Big E suffered a break in his C1 vertebrae in two places and his C6 vertebrae as well. He is no longer in need of a neck brace and, thankfully does not need surgery to repair the brakes. The former champion spoke to Ryan Satin on Out of Character as he commented on his prognosis a month ago:
"The issue right now is my C1 is not completely ossifying, it's not completely forming at the bone. It appears to be healing fibrously ... It's good enough that they're not worried about me in my day-to-day life, they're cool with clearing me, like I don't need a brace anymore... But I'm not cleared to, you know, be taking off and hitting suicide spears. They want to look at it again after a year ... The upside is right now I have no nerve issues, there is no tingling, no weakness. I've been in the gym in the last two weeks after breaking my neck." [H/T: WrestlingInc]
This is some positive news for Big E, and we hope to see him return to WWE in any capacity in 2023.
#4. Carmella suffered a scary concussion during a WWE live event
The former WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion has been on the shelf for a few months due to a concussion. Last month, Carmella suffered the injury while competing at a WWE live event in North Charleston, South Carolina.
Carmella suffered a concussion after striking her head after taking a bump off the top turnbuckle with Bianca Belair. The unfortunate incident can be viewed in the clip below.
The former SmackDown women's champion provided an update on her concussion prognosis in a tweet taken from August 29th, as she stated:
“I’m not sure yet... still recovering. Hopefully soon! I miss y’all”.
Based on this tweet, we can likely expect to see Carmella back in action before the end of the year.
#3. Big Time Becks dislocated her shoulder during SummerSlam
Whether you want to call her Big Time Becks or The Man, the one constant about Becky Lynch is her resilience and determination to be the best performer possible.
Lynch suffered a dislocated shoulder during her RAW Women’s Championship match against Bianca Belair a month ago at Summer Slam. Lynch finished the match despite the excruciating pain.
The former women’s champion was interviewed on Out of Character with Ryan Satin as she provided an update on her injury:
"You know, I feel like I could be part Wolverine, because I think it's recovering pretty quickly. Considering how much pain I was in on Saturday at SummerSlam, I feel good. I feel like I could punch somebody in the face right now with this arm. Don't test me," said Lynch.
The former RAW women's champion also confirmed that the injury did happen at SummerSlam within the first opening minutes of the matchup. She hoped the shoulder would pop back in place. However, by the end of the contest, The Man knew she would be out for a while:
"It happened in] the first two minutes, or the first three minutes or something. ... And then I was like, 'Maybe I dislocated it, maybe it will click back into place.' And then by the end of the match I was like, 'I'm out. I'm out. I'm gonna be out for a little while.'"
Judging by Lynch’s comments above, there’s a decent chance she could be back in action by year's end.
#2. “The Apex Predator” suffers a major setback
We haven't seen Randy Orton on WWE television since May. Orton was last seen teaming up with Matt Riddle as they wrestled The Usos for the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Championship on SmackDown.
“Randy Orton is currently undergoing consultations with neurosurgeons and orthopedic spine surgeons to determine the extent of his injury and to recommend a course of treatment.”
Orton was dealing with a back injury throughout 2022, which was getting progressively worse and may require surgery. Orton originally planned to be a part of SummerSlam in July in a high-profile match against Roman Reigns, but those plans were immediately scrapped.
As of this writing, no further updates have been provided on Orton’s injury status as he is still slated to return sometime in 2023.
#1. Cody Rhodes suffered a torn pectoral muscle injury
Cody Rhodes made his huge return to WWE at WrestleMania 38 by defeating Seth Rollins in a tremendous matchup. The two men would go on to have a feud that would last until June’s Hell in a Cell event, where Rhodes suffered a torn pectoral muscle prior to the event while training.
Despite the injury, Rhodes put on a gutsy performance by choosing to compete at the event, defeating Seth Rollins in his last match to date in a severely bruised pectoral area. With the area completely ruptured and bruised, The American Nightmare found the strength and courage to compete against all odds.
After undergoing surgery to recover from the injury, Rhodes spoke to TMZ as they asked how his recovery was coming along. Rhodes stated:
"I was told I've got the strength of an 11-year-old. But I was pretty strong at 11, so. Hopefully soon,” said Rhodes.
"You know what, they haven't really given me one because they know I'm stupid, and I'd try to test it. I got in my mind where I want to be, and I think a lot of fans have in their mind where I'd like to be, and that's hopefully where it's at." [H/T: Comicbook]
The American Nightmare is likely referring to a potential return at the 2023 Royal Rumble in January, which seems to be the best-case scenario for Rhodes to make his return.