Braun Strowman returned from injury just a few weeks ago, challenging Roman Reigns to an Ambulance Match at WWE’s Great Balls of Fire. A major part of this storyline has been the idea that Roman injured Strowman and that Strowman was taken out of action but returned earlier than expected. So was this a completely fictitious storyline? Was Strowman ever actually injured?
As far as we know, Strowman was legitimately injured, but the circumstances surrounding the injury were changed for storytelling reasons.
Back on May 8th, Pro Wrestling Sheet reported that Braun Strowman was injured and that he would be out of action for four to eight weeks. They reported that Strowman needed to “undergo a minor procedure to fix some issues with his elbow.” That very night on Raw, Roman Reigns attacked Braun Strowman and “injured” him. Obviously, that angle of Roman attacking Strowman was manufactured in order to explain Strowman’s absence, but Strowman really did need to leave due to an injury.
On May 15th, WWE.com reported that Strowman had undergone surgery and would be taken out of action for six months. That was a dramatically longer estimate than had previously been said, but the Wrestling Observer subsequently reported that this number was an intentional exaggeration. It was unclear whether Strowman would be cleared in time for Great Balls of Fire, but the Wrestling Observer was pretty confident that he’d be back for SummerSlam. In the end, Strowman returned on June 19, six weeks after he left.
Braun Strowman, then, really was injured back in May, though it sounds like he needed to have a procedure done due to some lingering elbow issues rather than due to one big injury that took place during a match. The WWE then had Roman Reigns attack Braun Strowman so that this could be the explanation given for his injury, and the WWE subsequently said that Strowman would be out for six months. It does not seem like he was ever expected to be gone that long; that estimate was only given so that when he returned four months early, it would be shocking and make him seem like much more of a monster.