One of WWE's biggest events of the year is almost here in the Royal Rumble, which always features some big surprises throughout the night. Whether it features returning legends or surprise debuts, there is always something to talk about after the Rumble. That said, this year there are several stars who are injured and might be out of action for the event, and while a few of them could show up, most won't be able to. We've collected everyone that is currently out with an injury in one place for you and given the latest updates on their return to the ring, and you can check out the list starting on the next slide.
Some injuries have popped up in recent weeks, while others are still ongoing from 2021. Some of the injured stars from 2021 could make a surprise return at the Rumble if their recovery has completed early, but we'll just have to wait and see.
In the meantime, here's the current Royal Rumble card and confirmed entrants:
WWE Universal Championship: Roman Reigns vs. Seth Rollins
WWE Championship: Brock Lesnar vs. Bobby Lashley
Raw Women's Championship: Becky Lynch vs. Doudrop
Edge & Beth Phoenix vs. The Miz & Maryse
Men's Royal Rumble (Johnny Knoxville, Big E, AJ Styles, Angelo Dawkins, Montez Ford, Rey Mysterio, Dominik Mysterio, Austin Theory, Sheamus, Damian Priest, TBA)
Women's Royal Rumble (Charlotte Flair, Mickie James, Rhea Ripley, Nikki A.S.H., Dana Brooke, Carmella, Queen Zelina, Shotzi, Natalya, Aliyah, Naomi, Shayna Baszler, Nikki Bella, Brie Bella, Lita, Michelle McCool, Kelly Kelly, Summer Rae, TBA)
What do you think of the card so far? Let us know in the comments or as always you can talk all things wrestling with me on Twitter @MattAguilarCB!
King Woods is the most recent star off the board for Royal Rumble, as he suffered a torn Plantaris after dishing out a DDT during. a Street Fight match against The Usos. He'll be out for four to six weeks, so that puts him returning after the Rumble even in the best-case scenario.
"Yeah, so I was jumping in the ring to do a DDT. I spring off the bottom rope and grab the guy and then run his head into the ground hopefully shattering all the bones in his body so I can pin him and win the match, and make more money. So I did that part still but in the process – No, just jumping off the rope, so nothing like – not a shark attack, not a steel chair hit, not a machine gun, not a machete. I just jumped," Woods said.prevnext
One of the biggest absences of the Rumble will be Sasha Banks, who was injured on January 2nd of this year. She suffered a foot injury at a WWE Live! event in North Carolina, more specifically a bruised calcaneus bone. She is expected to be out for 6 to 8 weeks, so that puts her past the Rumble even if she recovers on the earliest 6-week timetable.
The good news is that nothing was broken, as that recovery timeframe could have been much longer.prevnext
Shinsuke Nakamura is the current Intercontinental Champion, and while he has been active on WWE television, he hasn't actually wrestled since mid-December. That's because he is still recovering from a hand injury he's been dealing with for around 2 to 3 months, and in an interview with Fightful, Boogs gave an update on his status.
"We've only had a couple of tag matches together and he suffered a hand injury that has kept him out for close to two months now, it seems like. I'm looking forward to him being healthy and cleared so we can kick some tail," Boogs said (h/t Fightful). "From there, down the road, we'll branch off, but I'm in no rush with that. There is a new approach, pairing up the seasoned vets with new up and comers and it's obviously for a reason. It helps get more exposure, TV time, valuable insight. I don't think he'd be as willing to help me out if I wasn't with him, Strong Style Shred."prevnext
Another big loss for the Rumble is Drew McIntyre, who was written off television at Day 1 so he could recover from a neck injury. According to reports, McIntyre has been dealing with nagging neck issues for months, and he is taking time off to recover in the hopes that he can avoid surgery. WWE is likely trying to keep him available for WrestleMania, but you can never be too careful with neck injuries, so hopefully, he is 100% when he eventually returns to the ring.prevnext
Speaking of Day 1, Ridge Holland sustained an injury at the event in his match with Sheamus, Ricochet, and Cesaro. Early in the match Ricochet's boot ended up planting on Holland's nose, breaking it in the process. He's had surgery on it and is on the mend, and he provided an update on El Brunch de WWE.
"I feel good, I feel good. I took a bit of a knock thanks to Ricochet but, the surgery was very good, the nose is fixed. I'm just waiting for it to heal fully now so, we're good. We're good," Holland said.
He also added he might use a mask when he returns to the ring, at least in his first match back.
Holland said, "Yeah, the option's out [to use a mask]. I think I'll need some protection when I first get in the ring so, I might have to, you know, borrow something off him [Sheamus], you know?prevnext
MVP has been featured on WWE television quite a bit, but he hasn't wrestled in quite some time. The reason for that is that he had to have knee surgery in September of 2021, and at the time it was said he would be out of action for a while. Now, there was no time frame given other than a while, so there is a chance he could be ready to go for the Rumble, but there's not been any indication of that, so for now, it seems he will still be sidelined for it.prevnext
September was not a great month for injuries in WWE, as Asuka also suffered an injury that has sidelined her for several months. She posted an image on Twitter back in August of last year where she was sporting an arm cast and also mentioned she got new teeth (she had one of her teeth knocked out previously during a match).
She's been out of action for a bit now, though she may be on the way back. It's unclear if that will happen at the Rumble, or if that return will be saved for a different event, perhaps even WrestleMania.prevnext
Bayley suffered an ACL tear during her training in July of last year for Money in the Bank, which was supposed to feature a match between her and Bianca Belair (who was then the SmackDown Women's Champion). Since then she's had surgery and has been giving updates now and then, and the last update sounded promising.
"People are asking how my knee is," she said (h/t POST Wrestling). "So my knee is doing great, my leg's doing great, my ankle's doing great, my calf is doing great, my shin is doing great, my hip is doing great. My mind is doing great, so I mean it's only a matter of time and I'm not gonna tell you when and I don't want all these idiots watching to know when. But, I'm gonna be coming back soon, maybe, you know and y'all better be ready. Better be ready."
While she will likely return in 2022, we're not sure if she will be able to be back in time for Rumble, and even if she was able to go, WWE might hold off for a big return at WrestleMania, which is just a few months away. the sooner Bayley returns the better, as fans have missed her on SmackDown for quite some time.prev