AEW's meticulous booking plans have been thrown into disarray due to a series of unfortunate injuries among its top talent, initiating a challenging ripple effect within the company's creative strategies. Wrestling journalist Dave Meltzer has detailed the impact on the federation's narrative arcs, emphasizing the setbacks caused by the health issues of Bryan Danielson, Adam Cole, and Jon Moxley.
The trio's ailments have forced the company to overhaul its storyline frameworks, leading to a wholesale reimagining of AEW's programming slate. Bryan Danielson's recent injury, a broken orbital bone sustained during a bout with Andrade El Idolo on October 21 at AEW Collision, exemplifies the unexpected incidents reshaping AEW's approach.
The mishap, occurring just minutes before the match's conclusion, has cast a shadow over Danielson's prospective appearance at WrestleKingdom on January 4, 2024, with AEW now tentatively projecting a year-end recovery. On the international scene, Mercedes Mone's tenure with NJPW and Stardom remains uncertain following a broken ankle from NJPW Resurgence last May.
Despite initial plans for a high-profile encounter against Giulia, no fixed comeback dates have been set, and decision-makers will need to navigate cost and scheduling considerations upon her recovery. Mone, who was spotted in a full cast at AEW All In, will watch from the sidelines as Giulia defends the NJPW Strong Women's Championship against Trish Adora this January in San Jose.
Injury Updates and Returns
WWE is anticipating the return of Liv Morgan from a shoulder injury that has sidelined her since July. Details on her comeback are sparse, but the organization expects her to re-enter the ring in the near future.
Similarly poised for a return, Bandido is on the comeback trail from a triangular fibrocartilage complex injury. The luchador is scheduled to grace the squared circle at a Riot promotion event in Mexico on December 9, indicating his in-ring action is imminent.
Sammy Guevara, absent since WrestleDream due to a concussion, has taken to social media to share his status. Despite his progress, he has not received medical clearance to resume wrestling. As these athletes navigate their recoveries, AEW, NJPW, and WWE must adapt to the unpredictability of physical setbacks, ensuring the safety and health of their performers while maintaining the dynamic storytelling that captivates their audiences.