TJR WWE News 12/21/17: Dean Ambrose Injury Update, John Cena's Schedule

It’s time for another WWE update. There wasn’t one yesterday because I was busy, but it’s a new day (yes it is) and I’m back at it. There will be days where I have no time to do it, but I’ll do my best to keep it a usual Monday to Friday thing.

Dean Ambrose underwent surgery for a right triceps (upper arm) injury on Tuesday. The injury has been bugging him for some time and then they did the angle on Raw where he was selling in extreme pain after a Seth Rollins suicide dive took out Ambrose as well as Cesaro and Samoa Joe. When Rollins went back in the ring, Sheamus nailed a Brogue Kick and the heels won the match. Ambrose was protected in the tag match because he never tagged in as the legal man.

Later in the show, Ambrose was being looked at by a doctor with Rollins standing there in support when Joe, Cesaro and Sheamus did a cheap attack. Joe shoved a crate that closed on Ambrose’s arm with Ambrose selling extreme pain from that. The story will likely be that Joe injured him further since Joe is a heel that will brag about that, but it could be used to have Ambrose turn heel on Rollins since it was the Rollins dive that led to Ambrose feeling a lot of pain during the match.

Here’s the latest update from WWE, which was posted on on Wednesday with comments from Dr. Jeffrey Dugas in Birmingham, Alabama.

“He tore some of the distal triceps tendon where it attaches to the forearm bone, called the olecranon. He basically tore about 50 percent of the triceps tendon away from the bone. So yesterday we repaired that back down to the bone where it tore off of. The surgery was very straightforward; we removed all of the extra bursal tissue — all of that extra swollen stuff around his elbow.”

Ambrose has already started physical therapy and flew home to Las Vegas on Wednesday.

What isn’t known is how long Ambrose is out. The Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer reported that if it was a full tear it would be about six months out of action for Ambrose, but it was a 50% tear, so Ambrose will likely return a lot sooner than that. Meltzer added that WWE found out about the severity of the injury on Monday when he got to Raw, so they re-wrote several segments to set up the injury angle.

TJR Thoughts: Ambrose has been the most durable wrestler on the main roster since he started in 2012. The significant only time off  (other than missing a week for things like his honeymoon) he has had was one month to film a movie calls ’12 Rounds: Lockdown 3.’ You may remember he was taken out by Seth Rollins and Kane with cinderblocks on the August 18, 2014 edition of Raw. Ambrose missed about a month for that. Other than that, Ambrose has worked a full-time live events and TV schedule non-stop for over five years. He has been a workhorse. We don’t ever want to see people hurt, but a few months recovering at home, resting the body and coming back fresh could be good for him.

We may found out a timeline for his return in the coming days. Since it was a 50% tear maybe that means only three months instead of six months for a full tear. I’m only speculating when I say that. For now we don’t know. When we know more, we will let you know.

Good luck to Dean in his recovery. He seems like the type of guy that will work as hard as he can to get back as soon as he can. Then again, you can say that about most people in WWE too.



– It was announced on Raw that John Cena is back next Monday on Christmas Raw in Chicago.

From there, Cena will work the Raw live event on December 26 in Madison Square Garden. Cena will challenge Roman Reigns for the Intercontinental Title. I don’t expect him to win.

Cena and Brock Lesnar are also advertised for the January 22 episode of Raw, which is the 25th Raw Anniversary special that is six days before the Royal Rumble as well. Other names already announced are The Undertaker, Diesel and Shawn Michaels.

Lesnar is not advertised for next week’s Christmas Raw, but he will be back on Raw on New Year’s Day January 1.

– Randy Orton is going to work a lighter schedule in 2018, which I wrote about for With Spandex. Orton is only scheduled to work Smackdown TV tapings through January and the first week of February. Orton is only working two live event weekends in January as well. Orton isn’t being advertised for live events later in February and into March, but that could change. Meltzer added in the Wrestling Observer that Orton isn’t booked for the May European tour either. At 37 years of age and 15 years on the main roster, Orton has worked a lot of dates for WWE, so it makes sense that he would slow down at this point in his career. Orton has a young family at home, so he enjoys the time off. Plus, as Meltzer noted he’s still making millions because he’s working the major shows. I’d be shocked if Orton isn’t a part of WrestleMania as long as he’s healthy.

– Ric Flair believes daughter Charlotte is already the best women’s ever, by far. I think she’s great, but her career has only been about five years, so it’s a bit early to be going that far. Nothing wrong with Ric believing in his daughter, though. (With Spandex)

– Former WWE superstar (back when they were called divas way back a few years ago) AJ Lee, whose real name is AJ Mendez-Brooks, announced that her book “Crazy is my Superpower” will be developed for TV.

Good for her. I’m sure some people think she might come back to WWE one day possibly for the women’s Royal Rumble, but she and husband CM Punk seem to be enjoying life post-WWE. They have money, so there’s no need to go back. I haven’t read her book. Maybe when it’s paperback.

– This is no surprise, but the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reported that there will likely be a NXT Takeover event during Money in the Bank weekend in Chicago in June, which is no surprise. WWE plans on making Money in the Bank part of the “big five” PPVs since it will be a Raw and Smackdown show.

– There was a tweet by @WWEUniverse asking fans what was the best championship match in WWE this year. After 10,000+ votes, Dunne vs. Bate from NXT Takeover Chicago has the most votes with 48% while Cena vs. Styles from the Royal Rumble has 31% of the vote.

I can’t tell you my pick. You have to wait until my WWE Johnny Awards posted one week from today on Thursday, December 28.



Here’s Charlotte Flair behind the scenes before her Clash of Champions match.

Charlotte sheds tears before her WWE Clash of Champions match: WWE The Day Of

This is a great video naming Kaitlyn Alexander an honorary WWE superstar.

"The Shadow" Kaitlyn Alexander becomes an honorary WWE Superstar: Exclusive, Dec. 19, 2017

Here’s a video WWE made with superstars as animated characters with a holiday theme. I’m too old for this stuff!

WWE Superstars come to life as animated holiday characters


– I wrote an exclusive column for The Comeback ranking all 16 WWE PPVs. For each one, I listed the best and worst matches while also offering some takes on what was memorable from those shows. The first two PPVs of the year were my favorite and it was downhill from that.

– Marc Madison wrote a column about how wrestling fans view the business while also offering his take on how the wrestlers might view us. He makes a lot of good points, so check it out.



I highly recommend checking out this week’s WWE NXT show. If I was reviewing it like I do Raw and Smackdown I’d probably rate it at 8.5 or 9 out of 10. It was great. The WWE UK Championship match between Champion Pete Dunne and challenger Tyler Bate was amazing. Almost as good as their NXT Takeover Chicago match. Our Kurt Zamora will have his NXT review up tonight, but here’s a clip of it. It’s crazy how good these guys are already in their early 20s.

Tyler Bate vs. Pete Dunne - WWE United Kingdom Championship Match: WWE NXT, Dec. 20, 2017

I should be back tomorrow with another WWE news update. Send me a tweet @johnreport with any comments or questions or comment below. Thanks for reading.