Former WWE Women's Champion Possibly Injured During 'SmackDown'

WWE's women's tag team division might just be cursed. If fans' fears are true, Nikki A.S.H. might be the latest of several Superstars who've been injured during the Women's Tag Team Championship tournament's tenure. The possible injury occurred during Friday night's episode of WWE SmackDown. A fatal four-way tag team bout that saw Nikki and Doudrop up against Sonya Deville and Natalya, Xia Li and Shotzi, and Tamina and Dana Brooke. 

The match's finish saw Brooke suplex Nikki from the middle rope to the outside floor, with the two Superstars landing on several other women in the match. Deville then took advantage of the high spot and rolled Nikki, a former WWE Raw Women's Champion, into the ring and pinned her. While Nikki (real name Nikki Glencross) and WWE have not commented on her status, she appeared to land wrong on her right leg during the move. She reacted in pain afterward, and a video surfaced on social media showing Doudrop and a man presumed to be a WWE trainer lifting Nikki and carrying her out of the arena.

Nikki and Doudrop were then shown arguing in the background during a post-match backstage segment focused on Deville and Natalya. However, it's unclear if this segment was pre-recorded. Nikki, who previously performed under the name Nikki Cross, has shared some fan art on her Instagram since the match occurred but has not commented on the spot in question or her health.

If speculation is correct and Nikki is injured, this would be the latest setback for the women's tag team division in 2022. Back on May 16, then-champions Sasha Banks and Naomi walked out of a WWE Raw taping due to the creative failings of now-retired CEO and creative head Vince McMahon. WWE suspended them and had the titles vacated, with a tournament planned to crown new champs. However, McMahon then never followed through on that tournament promise.

When McMahon exited his day-to-day role with WWE amidst his ongoing sexual misconduct and hush money scandals, things seemed to turn around for the division. The tournament was finally scheduled, and several new tag teams were formed, including one consisting of debuting NXT favorite IYO SKY (f.k.a. Io Shirai) and the returning Dakota Kai. A few injuries have plagued the tournament thus far, though. NXT Superstars Zoey Stark and Nikkita Lyons were set to compete in the tournament, but Stark became injured and Lyons was hit with an undisclosed medical issue. Another NXT team, Toxic Attraction, filled their spot and successfully won their first-round match against Deville and Natalya. Unfortunately, one member of the duo, Gigi Dolin, suffered an injury in that bout, ruling them out from further competition. That lead to Friday's "last chance" four-way to fill the slot.

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Nikki being injured would be another sad blow to the WWE tag team scene, being as she and Doudrop were the most well-established women's team on the company's main roster. While others are settling in — with Kai and SKY especially getting a lot of air time alongside their Damage CTRL stable leader Bayley — it would be disappointing to see Nikki and Doudrop out of the picture just as business was picking up.

WWE SmackDown airs Fridays at 8 p.m. ET on Fox. The full episode is available on Hulu the next day (and on Peacock 30 days later, and highlights are posted on WWE's YouTube channel.