There is good news and bad news when it comes to the fractured eye socket that Naomi suffered at the hands (or more specifically, knee) of Aksana on the February 3 episode of Raw. Dr Chris Amann told WWE.com that she will not require surgery for the injury, as “neither the nerve nor the eye muscles are trapped in the fracture itself”, but added that “the break that she has off the medial or inside wall of the orbital bone, [there is] communication between her sinus cavity and the back of the eye socket.” As a result, the 26-year old is not allowed to fly due to the pressure differences, and will not be able to return to the ring for around 4-6 weeks.
That is a big blow for the Funkadactyl, who was reported to be in line to win the WWE Divas Championship from AJ Lee, possibly at WrestleMania XXX – which was one of the options discussed in yesterday’s Bunch of Fives article – but it isn’t all bad news, and WWE isn’t said to be concerned about Naomi’s fortunes.
In a worst case scenario, Naomi is not going to be cleared for 42 days. However, WrestleMania is 49 days away, so there would be time for her to return and have the match. WWE could also build up the match by having AJ cut promos, and Naomi could still do some hype without having to fly – possibly with training videos or something to create some hype – and then the pair could have a face to face confrontation on the go-home episode of Raw. Of course, if she is cleared after 4 weeks it would give the pair even longer to build up the contest. AJ v Naomi could still be on the table.
The injury could also be worked into the second season’s filming of Total Divas and push her as the hurt underdog who fights back from injury to win the Divas Title, as reported in last week’s Wrestling Observer.
In a strange way, this eye socket fracture could be the making of Naomi, who could be put in the position of being the comeback kid. Should WWE put its marketing machine behind her and make people care about the injury, the comeback and the possible title victory at the end of it, the company could create a new superstar Diva. The company certainly needs it.
– Lee Burton
– Photo by WWE