WWE is holding the first SmackDown after WrestleMania 38 at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Tonight’s SmackDown features several matches and Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman in a main event segment.

Click here for our full coverage of Friday Night SmackDown.

According to Fightful Select, several former WWE superstars helped produced matches and segments for tonight’s show. These individuals are working as producers on a tryout basis.

A couple of new names have popped up backstage in WWE as producers. The former Curtis Axel, Joe Hennig, is serving as a producer for WWE on Smackdown this week on a tryout basis.


Axel hasn’t wrestled since his WWE release two years ago, although we’re told there has been interest on the behalf of independent promotions. Hennig is tasked with producing the Sasha Banks vs. Liv Morgan match directly under TJ Wilson/Tyson Kidd.

Another name is Ariya Daivari, the brother of WWE producer Shawn Daivari. The 32-year old has been very active since his 2021 WWE release, as he’s worked NWA, New Japan, and AEW as recently as a month ago in addition to several indie companies. He helped produce the Sami Zayn vs. Drew McIntyre match under Abyss.

Tonight’s SmackDown also saw the debut of three NXT 2.0 superstars. Raquel Gonzalez and 2/3 of Imperium (Gunther and Marcel Barthel) all made their main roster debut.

WWE changed the name of Barthel and Raquel Gonzalez to Ludwig Kaiser and Raquel Rodriquez respectively. This isn’t the first time the company changed the name of main roster callups.

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Manik Aftab

Manik Aftab is a news writer at Ringside News. Outside of his writing responsibilities, Manik is a fan of fiction, thrillers, comics, manga and anime. He’s an occasional journalist and likes to spend his free time watching movies and reading stuff about politics, science, medicine, etc. Manik also enjoys jogs in the park and workouts in the gym. 

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