Michael Elgin and Jeff Cobb were a unique, big man presence recently in NJPW‘s World Tag League, entertaining audiences with their pass-the-delayed-vertical-suplex spot, throwing opponents around, and even scoring a win over the tag team champions. The two were set to reunite, plus David Finlay, in the pre-show gauntlet match to determine the number one contenders for the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championships at Wrestle Kingdom 13. However, Elgin announced via Facebook that he’s having knee surgery and canceling bookings for the next two to three weeks, putting his participation at the January 4 Tokyo Dome show in question.
Here’s how Elgin described the situation:
On November 30th, I suffered a knee injury while myself and Jeff Cobb were wrestling Ishii and Yano. After seeing the doctor, we thought it was likely an MCL injury. Together we decided if after a day’s rest I felt like I shouldn’t wrestle then I should take the rest of the tour off. After resting a day, I felt like I could still wrestle and asked to continue the tour. NJPW was great and told me if I had any issues I didn’t need to wrestle. But I was there for a big series (World Tag League) and I didn’t want to not finish. Truthfully other than some discomfort after matches I assumed it would slowly fade and the would be back to normal.
When I got home from Japan, myself my wife and my son drove upto [sic] Canada to visit my family. The long drive felt ok, but when arriving in Canada I had some stiffness in the knee. After trying to resume cardio the following day, my knee started to lock up. I cancelled a couple bookings but sill did my scheduled seminars with doing very minimal movement during them. The drive home from Canada, was the final straw. After a few short hours in the car my knee was immobile and fully locked up, I couldn’t put any weight on it.
Monday I was lucky to get in to see a specialist and then yesterday received my MRI.
Today, we found out I have what they call a Bucket handle meniscus tear. Basically from my understanding it’s when the torn meniscus flips up inbetween your knee cap and (forget the other bone or joint it usually situates itself in) and causing pain and discomfort when trying to straighten your legs above that, they also found some small blood clots in my calve (more than likely from the long hours on the plane and driving to and from Canada.
I’m due in for surgery tomorrow, which means at least for the next 2-3 weeks I’ve had to cancel all obligations and bookings. I’m
Hoping I receive good news after surgery and it won’t be much time until I can get back in the ring.
NJPW has yet to address Elgin’s injury or if he will be replaced in his gauntlet match team.
The former IWGP Heavyweight Champion and distributor of Blue Justice will team up with Jeff Cobb and David Finlay. Nagata and Cobb teamed together for the first time on November 21, 2018, on an untelevised match on the World Tag League Tour, and this will be only their second time coming from the same corner. Finlay and Nagata last tagged together in June 2017 on the Kizuna Road tour.
Author and frequent NJPW color commentator Chris Carlton pointed out on Twitter that Nagata’s addition to the card “means he maintains a 25 year January 4 appearance streak, and will appear on his 31st consecutive New Japan Tokyo Dome card, more than anyone in history.”