Elias was one of the protagonists of the car accident that took place two weeks ago on Friday Night SmackDown. Thus, the wrestler and Jeff Hardy, who had something to do with the accident in the first instance, were left out of the tournament to crown the new WWE Intercontinental champion.
Elias and Jeff Hardy were originally thought to be left out of the tournament by a storyline, but in the past few hours one of the two was reported to be injured. Dave Meltzer, a journalist for the Wrestling Observer, has pointed out in recent hours that Elias will be on leave due to a chest injury.
“Elias was taken off television last week due to a tear in his pectoral muscle,” said Meltzer. “WWE.com noted that Elias suffered a broken rib and a damaged chest as a result of the angle on SmackDown last week. The injury will put him out of action for months.”
WWE took advantage of that moment to put Elias out of action and introduce Jeff Hardy to a fight with Sheamus in Backlash. It is not yet known whether Jeff Hardy’s change of course was motivated by Elias’ actual injury.