While Michael Cole reminds us that this is the New Era at every opportunity, a lot of people have another name for this phase of WWE: The Injury Era.
Seth Rollins was out of action until May after he blew his knee out last year. Both John Cena and Cesaro have undergone shoulder surgery. Randy Orton didn’t wrestle all year until last month because of injuries. Bray Wyatt manages to damage himself every other month. Finn Balor, a day after he became the first ever WWE Universal Champion at Summerslam, had to forfeit his title because of a shoulder injury – the list goes on.
But at least all those guys have or should be able to get back in the ring. The last year or so have seen three career ending injuries – Tyson Kidd narrowly avoided paralysis when severely hurting his neck off a Samoa Joe Muscle Buster in June 2015, and both Sting and Daniel Bryan have had to announce their wrestling retirements this year from injuries they’ve sustained.
So probably not the best time to do a fake-out retirement because of an injury speech angle on Raw.
The Wrestling Observer Newsletter is reporting that there were some talents who were very upset with Sasha Banks’ promo on this week’s episode, thinking it less ‘Bad News’ and more ‘Bad Taste’.
Those who took offence feel WWE creative tried to use the emotion of Bryan’s retirement speech from February this year, but the angle came off as cheap and exploitative instead. Apparently one veteran talent backstage mentioned both Edge’s retirement speech and Kidd’s recent neck injury as examples of what Banks’ promo was disrespectfully playing on.
The obvious other comparison is to Mark Henry’s brilliant ‘Pint Suit Promo’ from 2013 – where he very convincingly teased retirement, only to end beating up John Cena. The difference here, though, is that Henry’s promo used his career winding down to make you believe it. Banks’ relied on her being genuinely hurt coming out of Summerslam – and real-life injuries are a very sensitive subject backstage in WWE at the moment.
Did you find Sasha’s promo in bad taste? Let us know in the comments.