The increase in stiffness in recent WWE matches is a company-directed thing, according to a new report. In response to a fan question about workers stiffing each other in NXT, Alvarez noted on WOL that talent who sign with WWE have been told at the Performance Center, for whatever reason, to “lay it in” against each other during matches for a while now.
While it’s not confirmed, that could potentially explain the increase in minor injuries among the WWE roster in recent memory. NXT has a weekly injury report that is a mix of kayfabe and reality, for example, and there has been an increase in talent who “get their bells rung,” which is usually a euphemism for a concussion.
Alvarez noted that this edict began before AEW became competition for WWE last fall, so this is not likely to be a direct response to that.