Last week on RAW, The New Day made the abrupt transition from WrestleMania hosts back to regular in-ring performers when they issued an open challenge to any tag team backstage. That call, of course, was answered by The Revival, making their main roster debut. The New Day barely lost a match during their record-breaking tag team championship reign spanning 2015-16, but The Revival were able to defeat them on their first night in the WWE.
After the match, Dash and Dawson added injury to insult by chopping off one of the legs of The New Day tripod. The Revival attacked Kofi Kingston with Big E and Xavier Woods already laid out and unable to offer any assistance, resulting in Kofi injuring his ankle thanks to an off-the-rope double team spot. The Revival announced their arrival with authority and The New Day was left to pick up the pieces.
On Monday, the WWE announced that the post-match beating left Kofi with an injured ankle and The New Day will be without their high-flier for several weeks. The company issued the following release in regards to the news.
“During the attack by The Revival, Kofi injured his right ankle and heard a crack, and was unable to put weight on his leg following the attack, WWE physician Dr. Chris Amann told WWE.com. Further evaluation and an MRI revealed that the attack had caused fragments of bone to break off the ankle bone (talus), requiring arthroscopic surgery to remove the bone chips from the damaged joint. Kingston’s injury leaves The New Day down a man just before the Raw and SmackDown LIVE locker rooms undergo a Superstar Shake-up.”
The WWE was intentionally vague regarding Kofi’s recovery time, to allow for some drama with Payback approaching on April 30. The New Day has been at the center of the Superstar Shakeup rumors, as their names were first mentioned last Thursday of potential stars switching brands. The attack was done in storyline, but Kingston’s ankle injury (and subsequent surgery) were legitimate.
It’s doubtful that the injury was the reason the WWE decided to make The New Day the hosts of WrestleMania rather than wrestle an actual match on the show, but it did give them an excuse to use them in what they viewed as a more significant manner. Kofi had wrestled several times leading up to the show during matches with The New Day on RAW, but this allows for him to take care of the nagging injury that has prevented him from being 100%.
As noted, we reported last week that both The New Day and Enzo & Cass were being considered as teams moving to SmackDown in the Superstar Shakeup. Their losses at either WrestleMania, RAW or both opened the door to switch brands and add some much-needed depth to the division on Tuesday nights. Officials were aware of Kofi’s injury and scripted the storyline as a way to allow for him to get the procedure, but it remains unclear how it will affect The New Day staying on RAW or moving to SmackDown.
It would make more sense to keep The New Day on the flagship brand to continue this budding rivalry with The Revival. As noted, SmackDown needs help in the tag team division, and Enzo & Cass could provide that in an immediate program with The Usos. The New Day can still compete with Big E and Xavier Woods while they wait for Kofi to return, but there is always the slim chance they could be split up as well.
Last summer’s brand extension draft made it possible for tag teams to be broken up or selected together. The Superstar Shakeup has made little to no mention of such a stipulation, so we’ll have to wait to find that out. The New Day’s merchandise continues to sell extremely well, and they are still in the early stages of their ice cream venture, so splitting up seems unlikely at this time.
[Featured Image by WWE]