WWE, AEW, Impact & NJPW Injury & Absentee Report (January 2022)

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Hi folks! Today, I bring you an updated wrestling injury and notable absentee report for the month of January 2022. In the past, I only covered WWE & AEW, but this will also include a few from Impact & New Japan Pro-Wrestling. Reasons for absence can include suspensions and unexplained inactivity. Feel free to let us know if anyone is missing. Thank you.

WWE Main Roster

This section includes WWE Superstars assigned to the Raw or SmackDown brands.

Gable Steveson — He follows in the footsteps of Kurt Angle as an Olympic Gold Medalist in freestyle amateur wrestling, and Brock Lesnar as an NCAA Division champion from the University of Minnesota. WWE jumped at the chance of signing him to a contract, assigning him to the Monday Night Raw brand. However, Steveson is unable to appear regularly until he has finished with his education at the university.

Drew McIntyre — At Day 1, after his match with Madcap Moss, he was ambushed by Happy Corbin & Moss backstage. WWE provided an injury update, saying he had suffered from a cervical neck strain. He needs an evaluation from a specialist, so there is no estimated time for his return.


King Woods During the recent street fight with The Usos, Woods hit a Tornado DDT on Jey Uso. In the process, he tore his plantaris muscle in his calf. Doctors say he will miss 4-6 weeks of action, which means he will miss the Royal Rumble. As a way to keep Kofi Kingston on SmackDown, WWE sent Big E over from Raw to help him with his feud with The Usos.


Mustafa Ali He recently asked for his release from WWE, but was denied. Ali responded by posting an image on Twitter of The Joker from ‘The Dark Knight’ Batman movie. This implied the quote: “It’s not about money… It’s about sending a message. Everything burns”. In other words, he doesn’t care about money, he just wants an opportunity.

Sasha Banks — At a live event a few weeks ago, Sasha Banks landed awkwardly after an over the knee backbreaker. She tried to continue, but the match had to be cut short, and Banks was helped to the back by officials. There is no official word on what the injury is, but Banks let us know that “I’m Good”. Expect her back by the Royal Rumble at the latest.

Ridge Holland On the Day 1 kickoff show, Ridge & Sheamus faced off against Cesaro & Ricochet. While Ridge was on the mat, Cesaro boosted Ricochet in to a spin, who accidentally landed boot first on his face. He busted Ridge’s nose wide open and had to be escorted to the back. Sheamus carried on and won what had become a handicap match. There is no estimated time for his return.


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NX2.0

Candice LeRae It’s funny when betting companies, who do not know what’s going on in the wrestling word, decide to give us odds. Candice LeRae is out on maternity leave, yet according to betting odds, she has more of a chance of winning the Royal Rumble than Summer Rae or Stephanie McMahon. Here are the odds:

+10000 (Candice LeRae, Kacy Catanzaro, Tamina, Dana Brooke, Michelle McCool, Kelly Kelly) +25000 (Summer Rae, Stephanie McMahon)

Zoey Stark Back in November, the former NXT Tag Team Champion (w/ Io Shirai) was attacked backstage by Toxic Attraction. It was a quick moment, but one which wrote her off TV. There was no official word on what the injury was, but Stark gave us an update a month ago:

“Officially off the crutches and walking on my own! Next step = RUNNING Thank you to my awesome Phyiscal Therapist Lauren! @wwenxt #WWENXT”


wrestling injury report

Unassigned

Asuka Back in late August, Asuka confirmed she had an arm injury in a Twitter post. She also confirmed having dental issues and needing teeth replaced. Many news sources are claiming she will return for the Royal Rumble match.


Bayley Last July, Bayley underwent surgery to fix a torn ACL. She was slated to be out for roughly 9 months. Dave Meltzer vaguely reported she would return by February, but more likely March. Bayley responded sarcastically: “OMG GOOD TO KNOW!!!!!!!!!!!! THEY ARE ALWAYS ACCURATE.” – Basically, she is saying Meltzer does not know what he’s talking about, and is just making things up.

Elias Back in August, Elias appeared in a few vignettes. He was burying his musician gimmick, and vowed to return. Ironically, Elias has been buried ever since. No one has seen him, and there is no sign of a return. If there is a good time to do so, it would be in the Royal Rumble match, but don’t expect anything amazing.


Lacey Evans Her last match was way back in February 2021, and then she went on maternity leave. In October, Evans gave birth to her second child, and has recently teased a return to the ring. In response to a fan asking when she would be back, on behalf of her daughter (who loved her new Lacey Evans figure for Christmas), she said: “Tell her I’m coming. ⏳💪❤”

Also Read: 30 Longest Reigning WWE Champions In History

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All Elite Wrestling

Darius Martin In August, Darius gave us an update on his injury. He had ACL surgery, which much like Bayley, would lead to almost a year on the sidelines. Darius had previously teamed with Dante Martin as the exciting young tag team ‘Top Flight’. Since then, Dante has enjoyed a successful singles run, being managed by Lio Rush, while feuding with Team Taz. Tony Khan told us that he expects Darius to be an asset for the company when he’s ready.

Eddie Kingston — His injury is unknown, but there is an estimated recovery time of a few weeks, just as Kingston was entering in to a feud with Chris Jericho. Inner Circle stablemates, Ortiz & Santana, began turning on Jericho, after Kingston said he hasn’t helped them achieve their goal of becoming tag team champions. It also means he will not appear at The Wrld On GCW PPV.

Jake Atlas The former NXT star suffered an injury in his debut AEW match with Adam Cole. Atlas was upbeat about it though, because he says he won’t be out for long.

Kenny Omega  After losing the AEW World Championship to Hangman Page, Omega has been on hiatus to recover from several injuries. Not long after, he relinquished the AAA title as well. Recently, Omega has gone back and forth with fans and Jim Cornette on Twitter, and none of it has been constructive. There remains no timeline for Omega’s return.

Kip Sabian Way back in April last year, Miro destroyed his tag partner and wrote him off TV. Sabian needed shoulder surgery and got it the following month. There’s still no sign of him returning, but he can’t be far away. There have been reports of Sabian being seen walking around at venues, taking pictures with fans, and sitting in attendance.

Rey Fenix On the January 5th episode of Dynamite, during a tag match with Jurassic Express for the tag titles, Fenix was chokeslammed through a table by Luchasaurus. Upon landing, it was easy to spot his left arm bending in a way it shouldn’t, and therefore dislocated it. I wouldn’t say it was anybody’s fault, these things can happen. Sadly, we’ll have to go without The Lucha Brothers for a while. With Pac changing gimmick, it looks like The Death Triangle is no more.

The Butcher He was last seen in November wrestling against a team representing New Japan’s Chaos. It was in this match that he suffered a torn biceps. A week ago, it was announced that his band, ‘Every Time I Die’, has disbanded. It had been together since 1998, and recently fell apart because of communication issues with the lead singer. Without this, it seems likely that Andy Williams, if he so decides, will be able to focus on his wrestling career more.

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Impact & New Japan

Sami Callihan A few weeks ago, Callihan gave us an update on his ankle injury. He had screws taken out on December 23rd, and is on the road to recovery. He is taking the time off to lose weight and return stronger than ever. Also, he’s not willing to give anyone the satisfaction of knowing when he will return. Sami Callihan has always loved the element of surprise.

Su Yung It was recently announced that Su Yung, otherwise known as Suzie or Susan, is pregnant with her husband Rich Swann’s baby. Su had been away from TV for a long while, and says they are expecting in February, which means she’s pretty far along.

Kota Ibushi  According to New Japan, Ibushi has suffered a right anterior dislocation of the shoulder, and joint lip damage in a match with Kazuchika Okada. His estimated recovery time was listed as two months, so he was expected to return for Wrestle Kingdom 16.

This didn’t happen, so either he’s due back, or it was worse than they thought. New Japan was pushing Kota Ibushi as the new face of the company leading into its 50th year anniversary. As a backup, Kazuchika Okada won the IWGP World title and paid respect to the former title. This sets things up nicely for Ibushi to avenge the loss at the G1 Climax final.

wrestling injury report

wrestling injury report

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