Projecting How Big Cass, Asuka Injuries Will Impact WWE Raw and NXT

Ryan DilbertWWE Lead WriterAugust 22, 2017

Credit: WWE.com

Big Cass hobbling away from the ring on Monday's WWE Raw isn't nearly as big a blow to the red brand as Asuka's injury is for NXT.

A rising star in the midst of the biggest push of his career, Big Cass has to be hugely disappointed to get hurt one night after SummerSlam. He's not as key of a cog to Raw as Asuka is to NXT, though. The women's champ's absence is going to leave NXT officials scrambling.

Asuka left her NXT Women's Championship match at TakeOver: Brooklyn III on Saturday injured. WWE.com broke the news that Asuka suffered a broken collarbone. "The typical recovery time for a broken collarbone is six to eight weeks, according to ringside physician Dr. Jeffrey Westerfield, who tended to Asuka in Brooklyn," the report stated.

The undefeated champ remained positive on Twitter, however:

As for Big Cass, he was in the middle of beating down Enzo Amore when his knee buckled. Referees stopped the action, and the seven-footer was visibly upset with the situation.

The WWE confirmed the injury on its official website. In the report, WWE physician Chris Robinson said: "It's hard to tell what the extent of the injury is, but we're going to send him to get an MRI tomorrow and figure that out."

Both injuries will force the WWE to adjust. That process for Asuka, though, will be more complicated. 

            

Asuka

Her victory at TakeOver extended what has been a historic run.

Asuka has been NXT women's champ for over 500 days. She's remained undefeated longer than Goldberg did in WCW. And the WWE has been happy to spotlight all of that.

The company now has to choose whether to delay her next title defense until she heals or crown a new champion. The latter option would be quite the deflating end to one of the best-booked stretches for a wrestler in recent memory. 

That's why the WWE is more likely to play the waiting game with Asuka rather than strip her of the title.

Michael Killam of WrestleZone.com laid out a scenario that would allow the WWE to do just that: 

In the meantime, NXT won't have one of its cornerstones. The women's division won't be nearly as star-studded. The NXT live events will be without any women's title matches for several weeks.

Ember Moon will have to find a new rival, too.

She and Asuka were in the middle of one of NXT's best feuds. Moon now finds herself in limbo until Asuka heals.

But as a positive, Asuka's absence will give other performers a chance to make a name for themselves. It is an opening for others to charge through, and one of the signees from the Mae Young Classic tournament is the best bet to take advantage.

            

Big Cass

The rise of The Babe Ruth of Beatdowns has to be put on hold.

After breaking away from Amore, Cass has been positioned as a rising contender. He is fresh off taking down future Hall of Famer Big Show at SummerSlam and had been vocal about wanting a Universal Championship opportunity.

And now a knee injury threatens to temporarily shelve his ascent. 

His rivalry with Amore was winding down, so the WWE won't have to change its plans there much. Big Show will likely slide back into a part-time role. Amore was probably going to fade from the spotlight for a stretch anyway.

Raw will need a new upper-midcarder to spotlight, but there's no shortage of options to do so.

Jason Jordan's push could become more pronounced. Elias could move up from feuding with R-Truth to someone more high-profile. The WWE could start doing something meaningful with Kalisto again.

None of those Superstars are big men, but the Raw circus isn't short on size, with Braun Strowman, Samoa Joe and Brock Lesnar in prominent spots.

The good news for Big Cass is that he has eight months to recover in time for WrestleMania. He had his moment at SummerSlam and may be able to come back in time to pick where he left off with a big match at The Showcase of the Immortals.