Whatever AEW’s new strategy for dealing with conflict behind-the-scenes is, it doesn’t seem to involve not talking about things publicly. That may not be the best approach from a public relations or human resources perspective, but it sure does keep those of us in the web game plenty busy.
Since Thunder Rosa’s surprising announcement on Wednesday’s Dynamite that she’s injured and unable to defend her AEW Women’s championship at All Out, there’s been all sorts of gossip about whether her injury is legitimate or if it could be cover for something like a suspension, which could have come about because of continued heat between Rosa and Dr. Britt Baker & Jaime Hayter... or so the theories go.
First, La Mera Mera talked her injury. She confirmed reports its a back issue, and said she’s recently been bed-ridden and in considerable pain. Rosa said she’s been dealing with back problems for about a year. She found out on Tuesday she was no longer cleared to wrestle — and considering she says she can’t feel her legs and is having trouble walking, seems like an easy call to make at this point.
Beyond the severity, she pushed back on rumors the injury is a work. Rosa also questioned the motives of whoever started those rumors:
“I’m not the best, physically right now. I was in a lot of pain yesterday. A lot has been happening in the last couple of weeks. Unfortunately, I’m going to be out of commission. I don’t know for how long. For a couple months, probably. I have a problem with my back and yesterday, I was trying to be strong. Back problems are not easy. Some days are good, some days are not. Yesterday was not a good day, I was in a lot of pain.
“That’s one of the reasons why I’m taking time off. I want to clear the air, this is not fake. This is not a work. I’m not comparing injuries to injuries. If I could fucking walk, I can fucking work. Doctor Sampson, he didn’t clear me to wrestle. I’m not cleared to wrestle. It’s not that I don’t want to do a match on [next] Sunday [for All Out], I can’t walk.
“It’s a shame that this is being put on social media, not only to discredit me as an athlete, but also discredit me as a wrestler. I want to walk when I’m 40. I have the right to say ‘No, I can’t walk, I can’t do it.’ I don’t want to have surgery. If we keep doing this and going through the pain, then I’m going to be out for longer. I don’t want to do that.”
She also fired back on talk of some kind of altercation with another wrestler. No specifics, but it certainly seems like she’s referring to the one version of the tale where Rosa hid from an angry Hayter after their Battle of the Belts III match:
“Not everything that is being said is true. If anybody has a problem with me, anyone, call Busted Open, call my number, tell me to my face. I don’t hide from my problems. I don’t run from my problems. You can talk to me — my door is open. That goes for anybody.
“I have taken accountability when things have happened. I’m a straightforward person. Some people don’t like that and are afraid of that. I’m not. I’m a trained fighter, I don’t run away from shit. Stop reading stupid shit online.”
Rosa’s taking a page from CM Punk’s book; in an interview published before this week’s Dynamite, Punk issued a similar “come talk to me” directive publicly in response to questions about co-workers who have a problem with him.
Will it work? I’m guessing no, as delivering these kinds of messages through the media probably ensures they won’t be received well, but we’ll see. These kinds of answers do provide an easy path to turn shoot into work...
We’ll see how things play out from here. For now, we’re wishing Thunder Rosa a swift recovery... and waiting for the next locker room beef to start.