WWE had to change up some plans for SmackDown this week, and now we know what they had to switch around. Although we do not know who tested positive for COVID-19, due to the company’s confidentiality agreement, we do know what changes needed to be made.
PW Insider noted that WWE had to switch up a few things for SmackDown this week. It appears that the company simply allotted more time to certain segments, and the show went mostly as they originally planned.
The report went on to say that the United States Title invitational match was originally supposed to run two or three segments. Also, they gave more time to the fatal four-way match as well. One major segment that was dropped included the women’s title picture as well. Instead, the company simply announced the triple threat match previously in the day.
Since we’ve received a few questions about last night’s Smackdown being changed following some talents being pulled due to COVID-19 concerns, most of the show did go originally as planned.
The WWE United States Invitational bout was always scheduled to run 2-3 segements.
Santos Escobar vs. Austin Theory and Dominik Mysterio vs. Butch were always included in the original plans for the episode. Additional time was allotted to those bouts late in the day.
A major segment dropped was the planned announcement of Asuka’s opponents for Summerslam with an in-ring segment featuring Bianca Belair, Asuka, Charlotte and Adam Pearce. That was pulled late in the day.
The lone match that was changed was a planned IYO SKY vs. Zelina Vega bout, which saw Charlotte Flair replace Vega when the in-ring segment setting up the WWE Women’s Championship match was removed. In a very interesting development there, Vega was backstage at the taping, but she was still replaced.
The report also noted that, “at one point, Rick Boogs vs. Odyssey Jones was scheduled as a pre-taping dark match but was removed over the course of the day.” Odyssey Jones has still not been able to pick up much steam after he was drafted to WWE RAW as part of the 2023 WWE Draft.
WWE is an unpredictable place, and that is evident on a daily basis at this point. Only time will tell what causes the company to change plans around this week, but it’s also evident that COVID-19 is certainly still an issue.
Keep checking back with Ringside News as we continue monitoring this ongoing situation, and everything else, going on in the pro wrestling world.