This week’s episode of Friday Night SmackDown, held at Madison Square Garden in New York City, was meaningful for a number of reasons, namely the fact that WWE treated it as something of a tribute show to honor America just one day before the 20th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001. Lilian Garcia returned to sing The Star-Spangled Banner before the show and a tribute video aired to open it on FOX.
It’s notable, then, that Zelina Vega’s match was cut for time.
Indeed, John Pollock reports a women’s tag team match pitting Vega & Carmella against Toni Storm & Liv Morgan was scheduled but ultimately cut from the show. Fightful Select reports that a Happy Corbin/Kevin Owens segment was also planned but cut earlier in the day whereas the women’s tag match was actually cut while the show was already on the air.
This is especially unfortunate, something many fans are making sure to point out in the wake of the show, because Vega lost her father in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center that day. She was just 10 years old.
Earlier this week, Vega made clear she had a plan for a special Naruto inspired gear for the show. When her match was cut, she showed it off on Twitter:
Today, she paid tribute to her father:
For you, always.— (@TheaTrinidad) September 11, 2021
No matter what.
I love you dad.
I hope I make you proud. pic.twitter.com/5ohrWF5Uqj
WWE put together a great show for its return to The Garden but there is zero reason they couldn’t have ensured Vega was on the card.