There was quite a bit of unrest among the WWE fan base when it became clear that multiple top stars in the women’s division were going to be left off the SummerSlam card on Aug. 5, 2023, at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan. Becky Lynch vs. Trish Stratus was announced for Monday Night Raw in Winnipeg on Aug. 14 and Rhea Ripley vs. Raquel Rodriguez will happen whenever the latter is cleared to wrestle in storyline.
So what happened?
SummerSlam was already up to eight matches and Triple H, as he said during the post-show press conference, didn’t think a longer card would have done anyone any good:
“There was a lot of banter that I saw this week about matches being cut, which is the word that was used. But nothing was cut. There was no card announced, right? If we don’t have more things in the pocket, ready to go for a PLE than can fit in the PLE, I’ve done a terrible job. There’s always an injury waiting around the corner, there’s always a moment that changes everything, and when one creative thing changes it changes the trajectory of everything. So, if you don’t have more stuff than you need ready to go, you failed. Then you get to the unfortunate place where I’ve got too much stuff. I don’t know about any of you but this show was plenty long tonight, plenty long. If it had been longer it would have been bad. There comes a time when you say ‘well, does everything get shorter time, does everything get rushed, does everything get hairy, or do we move things around and shift it and give it a bigger spotlight?’ As a performer, for me, I’d rather have the bigger spotlight. That’s how I look at it.”
I’m not sure how a prominent spot on the card at SummerSlam isn’t as big of a spotlight as an episode of Raw in Canada but his point is taken about the length of the show itself.
He also made a wider point to say he doesn’t book the women any different than he books the men, and simply allows for everyone to give their best and the top matches shake out naturally. When Becky Lynch vs. Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte Flair headlined WrestleMania 35, he claimed, it wasn’t because they made sure to put them there but rather they were so obviously the main event story.
I’ll let you decide what that says about the matches that didn’t make this show.
Either way, it would also seem one of the top stars whose match didn’t make the card doesn’t necessarily agree. But maybe she was just having some fun with it.