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To millions of fans around the world, the countless WWE Superstars who appear on television and on Peacock give off an aura of being truly larger-than-life — superhuman, even. And while it may seem that way when they perform gravity-defying moves and feats of strength that would make Superman blush, it only adds to the illusion.
The reality is that the men and women who compete in the WWE ring are only human, and humans get hurt. Much like the athletes who compete in the NFL, NBA, and countless other professional sports leagues, injuries happen sometimes.
It just so happens that for the Superstars of WWE, this year is turning out to be one of the most wince-inducing years on record.
From short-term graphic battle wounds (you've been warned — some of these images are very NSFW) to potentially career-altering injuries, here’s a look at the five most recent — and gnarliest — WWE injuries so far in 2022.
Drew McIntyre – August 2022
We’ll admit it: The inspiration for this particular list was Drew McIntyre’s absolutely gruesome injuries suffered at the end of SmackDown on Friday. The official WWE Twitter account was … gracious enough to post this for the entire world to see.
There’s so much to unpack here. First of all, there’s no way — absolutely no chance — that Drew McIntyre is going to be 100 percent for his highly-anticipated match against Roman Reigns at Clash at the Castle this weekend. It’s just not possible.
Second of all, the Bloodline may be the only faction in history that can turn a steel chair into a legitimate lethal weapon. Roman Reigns and the Usos wield those things like chainsaws, and the proof is in the damage they can inflict.
If the Bloodline wanted to ensure Roman Reigns has a huge advantage for his big Undisputed WWE Universal Championship match, we can honestly say that the mission has been accomplished.
Carmella – March 2022
While competing at a WWE Live Event, Carmella finished the match a little worse for wear! After a frenetic multi-woman tag team match, the self-proclaimed “Most Beautiful Woman in WWE” showed off a battle scar that would make any person scrolling on Twitter shudder.
Most Superstars come out of matches with either a win or a loss. Carmella managed a two-for-one deal as she lost both the match and a rather large clump of her hair.
To be fair, she did a heck of a job covering it up, but savvy members of the WWE Universe know the truth hiding behind that luscious head of hair.
Big E – March 2022
You can’t have a “worst injuries in WWE” list without having Big E’s unfortunate and heartbreaking injury on it, can you?
During a March episode of SmackDown, Big E was on the receiving end of a Ridge Holland overhead suplex.
Unfortunately, it happened on the arena floor.
And most unfortunately, Big E landed directly on his head, breaking his neck.
It’s the nature of the sports entertainment business: Sometimes injuries like this happen. Did Ridge Holland want to beat up — and possibly hurt — Big E with that suplex? Of course. Did Ridge Holland want to break the neck of the ex-WWE Champion? Of course not. You do what you have to do to win a match, but no WWE Superstar is looking to permanently injure another.
While we’re not going to post the injury itself here, we do have some uplifting news from Big E himself back in July:
With severe injuries to his spine, Big E’s WWE future is in jeopardy. While it’s still too soon to know whether he’ll return to the ring, we’re all just rooting for a healthy life for one of the most beloved WWE champions of all time. New Day hasn’t been the same without him, quite frankly.
Oh, and here’s a pro-tip: Drop him a line on Twitter and wish him well in his recovery. We know he loves reading well-wishes from the WWE Universe.
Becky Lynch - July 2022
On the RAW after SummerSlam, after an epic encounter with Bianca Belair that saw “The EST of WWE” successfully defend her Raw Women’s Championship, Becky Lynch entered the ring with sobering news: She suffered a catastrophic shoulder injury trying to win the title the previous night.
It was a shock to the WWE Universe, not only because Becky Lynch is one of the most captivating Superstars of all time but because it hadn't looked like she suffered an injury during her match at SummerSlam!
Whether it’s because the action was so fast-paced or “The Man” was just really good at hiding the injury, it’s true: Becky Lynch actually completey separated her shoulder at SummerSlam, popped it back into its socket, and managed to finish the match!
We’re not kidding — go back and check out their amazing clash for the RAW Women’s Championship. There are points in the match where it’s clear the shoulder is separated and it's very clear when she pops the shoulder back into place!
It was gruesome and awe-inspiring at the same time.
Oh, and in true Becky Lynch fashion, she wasted no time getting back to training just a few days later:
With Becky expected to make a full recovery, we expect her to interject herself into the RAQ Women’s Championship picture as soon as she gets back. And we’re willing to bet that return will happen sooner than later!
Cody Rhodes – June 2022
You really didn’t think you’d escape another photo of Cody Rhodes’ pec injury did you?
We’ll do you one better. Here’s a video:
June’s huge Hell in the Cell match against Seth Rollins was so important for Cody Rhodes that he tore his pectoral muscle while overtraining just days before the event.
Astonishingly, Cody Rhodes refused to pull himself out of the match — getting his hands on Seth Rollins was that important to him.
The end result was a match that had everything the WWE Universe could want: nonstop action, incredible drama, and the lasting image of Cody Rhodes’ absolutely gruesome injury. The bruising changed colors and spread across his body in sickening fashion due to the toll the match put him through.
To say that Rhodes’ injured pec lives rent free in our heads is the understatement of the year.
What’s perhaps even most impressive is not that Rhodes fought through his injury — it’s that he won the match. He defeated Seth Rollins inside Hell in a Cell, cementing his status as the top Superstar on Monday Night RAW.
Although he’s obviously out of action now, we’re hoping to see “The American Nightmare” back and better than ever in 2023 — without any nauseating bruising, please — with the top championships in all of WWE in his sights.
You can catch up on all things WWE Universe on Peacock.
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