5 Injuries that Changed WWE Since the Brand Split

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3. Naomi

It isn’t too often an injury can actually make a positive impact on a superstar’s career, but that’s exactly what happened to Naomi. For 8 years she’s been with the WWE, either performing in their developmental territory, FCW or NXT, or on the main roster. In that time she’s filled a variety of roles including, a member of a stable, a manager, or as a singles competitor. But it wasn’t until the brand split that she was finally able to earn her first championship.

When Naomi made her debut on the SmackDown Live brand, it was safe to say the WWE Universe was feelin’ the glow. Due to support from her fans and incredible athletic ability, she quickly ascended the to the top of the division. Naomi challenged then WWE SmackDown Women’s Champion, and beat Alex Bliss for the title at Elimination Chamber.

Unfortunately, it was revealed 2 days later that Naomi had suffered a leg injury during the match. Initially, it was uncertain how severe the injury was. But, a week later Naomi gave an impassioned speech before being forced to relinquish her title.

However, this story has a happy ending. Two months after vacating the title, at WrestleMania, Naomi was a surprise entrant into the Six-Pack Challenge match for the SmackDown Women’s Championship. In front of her home crowd in Orlando, Florida, Naomi won the match, becoming a 2-time champion. Not only did this win give Naomi her WrestleMania moment, she also became the first African-American women to win the women’s championship at WrestleMania.