On Raw, WWE appeared to write Braun Strowman off of television after a steel stair assault by Baron Corbin. While WWE announced the incident shattered Strowman's elbow, the real story is that he does indeed need surgery.
According to the Wrestling Observer Radio, Strowman is dealing with bone spurs in his elbow and will need a procedure to remedy the issue. The operation is expected to be minimal and Strowman should be back by the Royal Rumble.
The report seemed didn't rule out Strowman coming back for his TLC match with Baron Corbin, though. In Raw's opening segment Stephanie McMahon booked Strowman vs. Corbin with for the December 16 show. If Strowman wins, he'll get a crack at Brock Lesnar at the Royal Rumble, but if Corbin wins he'll be Raw's permanent General Manager.
WWE likely would have made that match if they were confident Strowman could return by then, but we'll have to wait and see.
Strowman has been rumored to be dealing with several nagging injuries but planned to power through the discomfort. Before the bone spurs, Strowman was reportedly dealing with a pair of bad knees. But given his high trajectory, Strowman was doing what he could to stay in the ring.
Either way, it looks like we won't be seeing Strowman for a few weeks. His injury marks the continuation of WWE's injury plague as names like Becky Lynch, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, and of course, Roman Reigns are all out of action.
Even if Strowman is forced to miss TLC, he's still likely destined to meet Lesnar at the Rumble in January. WWE probably has contingency plans, but it looks like the Universal Championship scene will remain a two-man show for the next few months. It's hard to predict where WWE will take us, especially considering that they may not even know their own final destination.
The news of Roman Reigns leukemia shifted the entire company. WWE waited about two years to finally crown Reigns Universal Champion and only a few weeks into his administration he had to relinquish the belt. Original plans probably had Reigns holding the big red belt until—and likely through— WrestleMania 35. But with Rings out, Lesnar was installed as emergency champion. Even though Strowman would do fine in the role, there's a chance Lesnar hold the title until Mania.