UPDATE: As of today, December 6, PWInsider is now reporting that Natalya never had a legit elbow injury, and this angle was just part of her ongoing storyline. This report is backed up by the fact that she’s currently doing table spots at South American house shows rather than having surgery.
Last night’s Raw opened with what started as an advertised tag match, pitting Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey and her best friend Natalya against Number One Contender Nia Jax and her sidekick Tamina, descending into chaos as the Riott Squad once again attacked their favorite target, Natalya. The Squad put the Queen of Harts through a table and left her too injured to wrestle, forcing the tag match to go on later in the show with Ember Moon taking Natalya’s place.
Now it seems that, much like the recent beatdown of Braun Strowman by three other heels, the attack on Natalya was planned to cover for an actual medical problem. Dave Meltzer reported on Wrestling Observer Radio that Nattie has a real elbow injury, and will be taking some time off to heal it while Ember Moon replaces her in the current storyline.
It remains to be seen what exactly that storyline will consist of, but hopefully Ember will have something to do besides follow Ronda Rousey around. It’s possible we’ll see her turn on Ronda, since that was apparently the plan for Natalya before the real-life death of her father made her too sympathetic for a heel turn. That seems like a bad decision, since Ember’s such a great babyface and has barely had a chance to prove herself on the main roster, but of course this is Monday Night Raw, where bad decisions are the order of the day.