Last night on Raw, after Braun Strowman was beaten down at length by Baron Corbin, Drew McIntyre, and Bobby Lashley, he was attended to by multiple medics and officials, as he clutched his bloody right elbow and said that he couldn’t move his arm or feel his fingers. Even though the spot where Corbin used the stairs to crush his arm actually looked very safe, it was easy to wonder by the end if Strowman’s elbow had been injured for real, or if the whole thing was a work. The answer, as is so often the case in pro wrestling, is kind of both.
According to Dave Meltzer at Wrestling Observer Radio, the beatdown was planned to cover for elbow surgery that Braun already needed, to deal with bone spurs in the joint. That’s why later in the show Michale Cole said that Strowman’s elbow was “shattered,” to provide a storyline reason for the surgery, and use it to put heat on the heels for taking Braun off of TV for a little while. Meltzer says that Braun’s announced TLC match with Baron Corbin is “touch and go,” but that he’s definitely expected to be back in time for a match with Brock Lesnar at the Royal Rumble.