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Bleacher Report catches you up on the latest news from the WWE Universe.
Lashley Reportedly Getting Shoulder Examined
After getting removed from Saturday’s Elimination Chamber match for the WWE Championship due to a storyline injury, Bobby Lashley reportedly got a legitimate injury checked out.
According to PWInsider (h/t Bhupen Dange of Ringside News), Lashley was at Andrew Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center in Birmingham, Alabama, on Monday to get his shoulder examined.
Lashley was set to defend the WWE title against Brock Lesnar, AJ Styles, Seth Rollins, Austin Theory and Riddle at Elimination Chamber, but he never entered the match.
Rollins powerbombed Theory through Lashley’s pod, and the announcers said he was unable to compete due to being placed in concussion protocol.
WWE continued that storyline on Raw, saying that if Lashley is not out of concussion protocol, someone else will challenge Lesnar for the WWE Championship at the March 5 live event at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
Shortly after WWE ran the injury angle with Lashley at Elimination Chamber, Kazeem Famuyide of The Ringer Wrestling Show (h/t Dange) said Lashley had been dealing with a shoulder injury since the Royal Rumble.
Famuyide added that Lashley was expected to need surgery, which would keep him out of action for at least four months.
The fact that WWE isn’t officially ruling Lashley out for the MSG show or WrestleMania 38 suggests there is still a chance he could be available.
If Lashley is able to work WrestleMania at the start of April, Rollins seems like a logical opponent since he was essentially the one responsible for Lashley losing the WWE title.
Maverick Returns to WWE as Part of Creative Team
Drake Maverick has reportedly returned for a third stint with WWE, but this time, it is in a different role.
According to PWInsider (h/t H Jenkins of Ringside News), Maverick went back to WWE three or four weeks ago and took a position on the Raw creative team.
The 39-year-old Brit first rose to prominence as a wrestler in Impact Wrestling before signing with WWE in 2017.
Maverick debuted as the general manager of 205 Live, but became a jack of all trades over time. He had a short stint managing AOP and eventually became a key part of the 24/7 Championship division, holding the title eight times.
WWE released Maverick from his contract in April 2020, but he still competed in the tournament for the Cruiserweight Championship. He was so well received that WWE decided to bring him back.
Maverick competed in the cruiserweight division and teamed with Killian Dain on NXT before getting cut again in November 2021.
Since Maverick has long been viewed as someone with a good mind and passion for the business, creative writing could turn out to be his best position yet.
Maverick’s return comes at an important time on the WWE calendar, as WrestleMania 38 is just over a month away, making every weekly episode of television important.
Bayley, Ripley Tease Potential WrestleMania Match
Bayley and Rhea Ripley had an intriguing interaction Monday on Twitter, which could potentially be the groundwork for a WrestleMania match between them.
After Raw went off the air, Bayley tweeted Ripley asking if she was ready for a new opponent. In response, Ripley seemingly expressed interest in mixing it up with the former SmackDown, Raw and NXT women’s champion:
Bayley has been out of action since the summer after suffering a torn ACL, but PWInsider’s Mike Johnson recently reported that Bayley is expected to return to the ring by the end of March.
If that holds true, Bayley would be back just in time for WrestleMania 38, and WWE would have to hurry to find her an opponent if the goal is for her to be on that card.
Starting a rivalry on Twitter before Bayley returns could be WWE’s way of ensuring that little television time is needed to build the feud before WrestleMania.
WWE has clearly tried to present Ripley as a dominant figure recently based on her performances in the Elimination Chamber match and a gauntlet match before it.
While Ripley was outlasted by Bianca Belair each time, she still came out of the contests looking credible.
Ripley defeated Nikki A.S.H. once again Monday, but it is long past due for her to move on to something else, and Bayley would be the perfect opponent for her on The Grandest Stage of Them All.
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