It looks like WWE is being forced to make some major changes to Ronda Rousey’s storyline, as it appears that Natalya Neidhart has a legitimate elbow injury that will require some time away from the ring. The news was reported on the latest edition of Wrestling Observer Radio by Dave Meltzer, as transcribed by SEScoops.
On Monday Night Raw this week, the show kicked off with the advertised match of Ronda Rousey and Natalya versus Nia Jax and Tamina. However, before the match could get started, The Riott Squad came out and attacked Rousey and Natalya. During the brawl, the trio of Riott, Morgan, and Logan put Natalya through a table, taking her out of action for the night.
Later, it was announced that Ronda Rousey would have Ember Moon fill in as her partner — and that the match would be the main event of Raw.
As it turns out, the table angle was designed as a way to write Natalya off television, so that she could recover from a legitimate elbow injury — which is why Moon was brought in to replace her. It also appears that Ember Moon will replace Natalya in other aspects of the storyline going forward.
According to earlier reports, Natalya was originally slated to turn on Ronda Rousey at some point, to set up a match between the two for the title. However, before WWE could pull the trigger on a Natalya heel turn, her father Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart passed away. The company reportedly decided that it wasn’t a good idea to turn her heel so close to the death of her father, as fans wouldn’t want to boo her.
It will be interesting to see if the WWE decides to have Ember Moon eventually turn on Ronda Rousey — or if they’ll save the turn for when Natalya comes back from her injury — as Rousey and Natalya have a longer relationship, one that would generate more heat.
Before either of those turns happen, Ronda Rousey is already scheduled to face Nia Jax at the TLC event for the Raw Women’s Championship. Supposedly, this would have been the event where Natalya faced Rousey as a heel, but the WWE switched to Nia Jax — since she’s already hated by the crowd.
At this time, it’s not known how long Natalya will be out of action with her elbow injury. There haven’t been any reports as to whether she’ll need surgery — or just some rest and relaxation.