Most recently, it’s been related to an injury that led to the creation of an interim Women’t title. Her announcement that she was taking time off came seemingly out of nowhere, and was preceded by rumors of heat on her from a match with Jamie Hayter at last month’s Battle of the Belts III. One story has it that she’s actually not hurt, but is instead somehow “ducking” Hayter and/or other members of the AEW women’s roster like her old rival Dr. Britt Baker or her planned All Out challenger Toni Storm.
Rosa dismissed this talk in an interview after her announcement, saying her back injury is so severe she sometimes can’t feel her legs, and that she’s a “trained fighter” who “doesn’t run away from shit.”
Storm won the interim title on PPV last night (Sept. 4), and appeared at the post-show media scrum. Seeing as she will have a unification match with Rosa at some point in the future, Toni of course addressed her ThunderStorm tag partner. The way she did has restarted speculation about Rosa’s injury.
Asked what she thought about the “interim” label attached to her championship, the former WWE wrestler said:
“I mean, it’s not ideal. But Thunder Rosa says she’s injured. Okay. So when she say’s she’s not injured, she can come back and lose to me, and that will be the end of that.”
Naturally, this comes with the caveat that Storm could be working to build up the eventual match with Rosa. “Says she’s injured” isn’t some huge slam, and AEW have shown a willingness to play with internet rumors about Rosa with frequent references to talk she “sandbagged” Marina Shafir in a June match.
But these days, it does feel safer to assume there’s a real issue here than a kayfabe one.