Big E is not set to return yet, but there are rumblings of his comeback being closer than expected and he will immediately be a massive babyface.
Surprise returns are a major part of professional wrestling. Stars step away for a variety of reasons, and unfortunately, injuries are among the most frequent on the list. New Day member, Big E suffered a horrific injury in 2022 when he suffered fractured vertebrae at the hands of Ridge Holland during a match on SmackDown. Big E recently talked about the injury and provided an update on a potential return. Regardless of the exact when it occurs, WWE will have a massive babyface star on its hands and the company should not botch the opportunity.
“It just takes a little bit more time to heal,” Big E said while on the Battleground Podcast. “We have to sit down with the doctors at some point and kind of figure out what the next step is but from my perspective, I feel great, I have no function issues, no pain issues, I’ve been at the gym since two weeks after I broke my neck. I’m just feeling great and I’m really grateful for all that.”
First and foremost, that’s excellent news to hear. Not only was that injury a threat to his wrestling career, but a threat to his life. Hearing that Big E is recovering is the best news for the situation. But in an industry full of rampant speculation, let’s focus on the opportunity that comes with Big E’s return.
The WWE is in a place where the company needs a major star that can step into the spotlight. Cody Rhodes was in such a position, and while he is still a draw, he’s lost momentum since WrestleMania 39. Big E was in a similar position at the start of 2022, as stupid booking decisions saw him lose the WWE Championship at Day 1 and get shuffled back into the tag team picture without any direction. All that piss-poor booking goes away if WWE handles his return correctly.
There are growing rumors that Big E and GUNTHER are heading for a showdown. Xavier Woods put up a valiant fight against the Intercontinental Champion on SmackDown but expectedly fell short. If the angle between Woods and GUNTHER continues this week, fans should begin to expect a Big E return. Kofi Kingston is currently out with an injury of his own, and Woods will need backup in dealing with Imperium. A reformed and healthy New Day against Imperium would be a massive angle heading into SummerSlam, especially if Big E is the one to defeat GUNTHER for the IC title.
But Big E should be in the main event picture and not in the mid-card. Fans want to see WWE booked as the main event draw that he was shaping up to become before his momentum was cut out from under him. The path to get there leads through the Royal Rumble. Imagine a scenario where Big E wins the event and heads into WrestleMania to face whoever holds the championship at the time. The story is right there for WWE to grab it, but as always – it isn’t smart to trust the creative direction of fan favorites within that company.
There’s no timetable set for Big E’s return to the WWE. When that moment does happen, the promotion will have a huge star on their hands that fans will want to see rise to the top. The question is whether WWE will deliver on that big moment.