Today’s Rumor Roundup brought word - via Wrestling Observer’s Bryan Alvarez - that the SmackDown which aired last night (Aug. 6) was again subjected to last minute re-writes and changes. PWInsider follows up with some details on what the changes were, while stating what pretty much everyone assumed - that Vince McMahon was responsible for all of them.
More interesting is that everything Insider’s sources told them involved the Roman Reigns mystery which have been playing out since last Tuesday:
- The main event was originally going to be Kofi Kingston vs. Andrade. That was changed at the pre-show production meeting to Kingston & Xavier Woods against Daniel Bryan & Rowan. An hour before the show, Big E was swapped in for Kofi.
- The ending reveal by Buddy Murphy that Rowan was the person behind (one? both?) attacks on Reigns “may not be 100% set in stone as other ideas have been pitched.”
- Bryan’s “career-altering announcement” appears to have been dropped completely, as no one mentioned it backstage last night. WWE could always decide to work it back into this or a different storyline, however.
- A casualty of the overall changes appears to be the match between Roman & DB which was planned for SummerSlam. That will now “likely be dropped in order to let the current storyline play out.”
As many noted last night, it really does feel like WWE should have started the Reigns whodunnit earlier if the goal was to set-up a match for this Sunday (Aug. 11) in Toronto. Giving the story - which now involves not only Roman, Bryan, Murphy & Rowan, but also Samoa Joe - more time to play out is the right call. It’ll be weird to have big names not advertised for a match at SummerSlam, but expect promotion of the angle and likely a segment or two advancing it on the pay-per-view (PPV).
The Big Dog vs. The Planet’s (former) Champion definitely still looks to be in the cards - Insider points out they’re slated to wrestle on a lot of house show cards starting next week.
How will we get there, though? Does WWE even know?