According to Ringside News, WWE legend Michael Hayes is taking some time off. It was revealed that the Hall of Famer needs hip replacement surgery, which will likely keep him out of action for several months. At the time of this writing, however, there has been no estimated timeline as to when Hayes will be back, but the outlet’s sources revealed that he likely be gone “for a while.”
Hayes is known to wrestling fans as a member of the legendary Fabulous Freebirds stable, but he’s worked behind the scenes in WWE since the 1990s. During his tenure with the company, he’s served as a backstage producer and in different creative roles. He’s also appeared on WWE television as a wrestler, commentator, and manager throughout the years. Hayes is considered one of Vince McMahon’s most trusted employees, and he’s undoubtedly going to be missed during his time off.
Pat Buck is expected to fill in for Hayes in the meantime. Buck — who was brought back after being furloughed in April during WWE’s mass releases of employees — joined the company as a backstage producer last year. This development also suggests that his job will be more secure moving forward.
According to Ringside News, Triple H wanted Hayes to reprise his Dok Hendrix persona — which he played in WWE during the New Generation era — at NXT Takeover: In Your House before he took time off. While the Hall of Famer refused to appear at the event, a picture of him as the character was shown during Johnny Gargano’s match.
According to Triple H, Hayes was very opposed to the idea, and he made his displeasure known at the time. Judging by “The Game’s” words, it seems as if Hayes’ Hendrix days are behind him.
“You have no idea how hard I tried to get Michael Hayes to show up, cut his hair and be Dok Hendrix. His refusal was loud and very intense. I could hear him exploding through my cell phone as the Dok Hendrix picture appeared on the wall of Johnny Gargano’s living room before he exited the house which was phenomenal to me.”
Hayes is expected to return to work as soon as he’s recovered from his surgery, though chances are fans won’t notice since the Hall of Famer doesn’t appear on television regularly. However, he is one of the most important employees behind the curtain, and it remains to be seen if the company’s in-ring product will be affected without Hayes being around to advise superstars on their matches.