In a whirlwind of backstage changes and surprises, last week’s WWE SmackDown took an unexpected turn, leaving fans speculating about the reasons behind the sudden alterations.
Medical concerns took center stage, as some talents were pulled from the show due to COVID-19 related reasons. Rumors circulated about positive test results and close contacts, leaving the wrestling world on edge.
Behind the scenes, the WWE United States Invitational bout featuring Santos Escobar and Austin Theory, as well as Dominik Mysterio’s match against Butch, were always part of the plan. However, late in the day, extra time was allocated to make these matches even more compelling.
Among the significant changes, a highly anticipated segment involving Asuka’s Summerslam opponents was unexpectedly dropped. WWE opted to reveal the names through social media instead of an in-ring announcement featuring Bianca Belair, Asuka, Charlotte, and Adam Pearce.
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Adding to the chaos, the originally scheduled clash between IYO SKY and Zelina Vega was scrapped, with Flair stepping in as a replacement. This last-minute alteration coincided with the removal of an in-ring segment that had been meant to set up the WWE Women’s Championship match.
Even beyond the planned show, the backstage scene saw a pre-taping dark match between Rick Boogs and Odyssey Jones initially slated but ultimately removed from the final lineup.
Intriguingly, wrestling insider Dave Meltzer revealed that the impromptu showdown between Flair and SKY was a result of on-the-fly decision-making, adding an extra layer of unpredictability to the night.
With backstage drama and ever-changing plans, WWE SmackDown proved that anything can happen in the world of sports entertainment, leaving fans buzzing with curiosity and excitement.
“So Charlotte Flair-IYO SKY was also thrown together at the end. There were a couple of people who were scheduled for the show who did not appear for, in some cases, for COVID-related reasons. Maybe not had COVID, but perhaps they were around it. So COVID reasons the show was changed. Charlotte and IYO Sky was a late replacement because that was not the original plan.”
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