WWE star Bayley is set for a lengthy stint on the sidelines after sustaining what is thought to be a serious knee injury.
The former SmackDown Women’s Champion had been due to challenge Bianca Belair for the gold at the upcoming Money in the Bank pay-per-view in Texas later this month.
Those plans now are now to be shelved after the company confirmed on Friday evening that the top-tier performer had suffered the major set-back.
Coming just days before the permanent, live return of fans to their shows, WWE said in a statement on their website that the 32-year-old could be out of the ring until next Spring.
It read: “WWE Digital has learned that Bayley sustained an injury while training for her WWE Money in the Bank match against Bianca Belair and will be out approximately nine months.”
Precise details as to the nature of the injury have yet to be confirmed, but Fightful in the States reported that the damage is to her knee.
They went on to say: “We’re told that the Bayley injury happened during the mandatory “return to road” training session at the WWE Performance Center while doing chain wrestling with another Superstar.
“It was referred to as a freak accident.”
Bayley has been one of the major success stories of WWE’s ‘Pandemic era’, her record-setting reign as champion on the blue brand one of the highlights of the last 18 months or so.
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She had firmly established herself as a favourite of younger fans all over the world in NXT and on Raw and Smackdown, before a complete character change saw her go down a storm as an on-screen villain.
The star had only recently said how much she was looking forward to regaining the Smackdown title in front of a live crowd – including her family.
“It’s coming back home,” she said. “It’s coming back to me and I’m gonna do it for all our fans that we get to be live in front of.
“My dad lives in Dallas; I can’t wait to win it right in front of him and give him a big old hug!”
WWE will press ahead with a title match for Belair at Money in the Bank in Bayley’s absence, their statement adding: “A suitable replacement for the SmackDown Women's Title Match will be announced tonight on FOX.”
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