Nikki Bella out with neck injury!
Former WWE Divas Champion and Pro Wrestling Illustrated #1-ranked female wrestler of 2015 is currently taking time off to rehabilitate an injury.
The extent and severity of the injury, as well as the length of time needed to fully recover, is not yet known.
Coupled with the recent knee injury befallen WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins, Bella’s hiatus seems like the effect of some sort of PWI curse.
On September 4th, Rollins was voted #1 in the magazine’s top 500 wrestlers of 2015, and two months later was side-lined after a tear suffered at a house show in Dublin Ireland. Around that exact time, Nikki Bella was declared #1 in PWI’s top 50 females. She has not made a television appearance since.
Unlike Rollins, however, the Diva’s injury doesn’t seem to be sudden or unexpected. In fact, Bella has been working hurt for longer than she has been given proper credit for.
On July 2nd, Bella revealed during a panel at the Sacramento Wizard World Comic Con that she’d been dealing with a hamstring tear since January.
She went on to describe an incident in Jackson, Mississippi a few weeks earlier, when she suffered a separated shoulder after taking a hard bump into the ring stairs.
According to reports published a week later, the shoulder injury was “causing some pain and discomfort, but won’t require her to vacate the championship”.
On August 16th, John Canton of Whatculture.com reported that Bella was unable to attend the Teen Choice Awards. She apologized to her fans via Twitter, claiming that she was dealing with an unspecified back injury.
On November 2nd, eight days after an unsuccessful attempt to recapture the Diva’s Championship from Charlotte at Hell In A Cell and two days before she was honoured with PWI’s number one ranking, Nikki Bella posted photos on Instagram that showed her rehabilitating from a neck injury.
She revealed that she was involved in intense daily routines, and assured fans she would return soon.
Since then, WWE has made very little mention of the former champ, not even to wish her a “speedy recovery”, as is a standard courtesy in the business. Considering Bella’s prevalence on social media and prominence in wrestling over the past year, one would assume such tidings would be resounding. Thus far there has been conspicuous silence.
Reports from ProWrestlingSheet.com on November 16th reveal that Bella’s neck injury may be more severe, citing bulging discs as the major concern.
“Sources close to the situation tell us,” Ryan Satin of PWS reports, “the discs are pushing on Nikki’s spinal cord, and she’s got extra fluid in her central nervous system.”
These reports indicate that further in-ring action could very well have resulted in paralysis if the problem was not properly treated. The reports further state that Bella has been attempting to avoid surgery.
Nikki Bella and WWE have not confirmed these reports officially, nor have they given any public statement regarding the extent of the Diva’s hiatus.
Given the timing of Bella’s record-breaking title reign coming to an end and the start of her long overdue rehabilitation, it begs to wonder: was it a personal decision of hers to work hurt for the better part of a year, or was that decision influenced by pressure from the company?
Is that perhaps why WWE has not reported on or referred in any way to Bella’s injured status thus far?