Injuries are never good, especially when they rob hard-working wrestlers and match-hungry fans of surefire classics. That's the case with now ex-NXT Champion Tommaso Ciampa; neck surgery will take WrestleMania season away from the new main roster recruit, and it'll cheat him of approximately nine months of action on NXT as well.
So, what does this mean for one of the most credible titles WWE have in the short term? Dave Meltzer guesses it means WWE will run a tournament for the vacant prize, one culminating at TakeOver: New York on 5 April. There, if the Wrestling Observer chief's guesswork is correct, a new titleholder will be crowned and the belt will move on from its wounded master onto a new saviour who can lead the division for the remainder of 2019.
WWE have four weeks of television before they get to TakeOver, and they have to act fast here. The big questions facing them are many: exactly who would be in such a tournament, why do they belong there in the first place and who should ultimately win the thing to replace Ciampa as the new champ?