FightfulSelect.com reports that Bray Wyatt isn’t listed to appear live on WWE SmackDown tonight:
– Bray Wyatt wasn’t listed in the rundown, but his Uncle Howdy was supposed to be brought to the show tonight.
– Drew Gulak vs. Humberto is the dark match.
– Ronda Rousey and Shayna Baszler have a segment with Shotzi
– Legado Del Fantasma is set to be ringside with Santos and Zelina, but nobody is listed internally with Usos. That doesn’t mean that’s how it will go down.
– Hit Row is to be ringside with B-Fab. The Viking Raiders and Sarah Logan are planned to return tonight in this spot.
– A Bloodline Anointment Ceremony is scheduled to main event.
It’s been a couple years since we’ve seen Hulk Hogan on SmackDown. Hulk Hogan remains one of the most popular pro wrestlers in the world of professional wrestling, with his influence in the business never being understated. However, his troubled past concerning racism has ultimately led to his downfall. Hulk Hogan was booed at WrestleMania 37 when he was introduced with Titus O’Neil as the hosts of the pay-per-view, which all stemmed from him using racial slurs in a leaked 2015 sex tape. New Jack Last Photo Before Death Leaked earlier last year.
MLW owner Court Bauer was interviewed on The Insiders podcast for AdFreeShows.com. Bauer shared stories from his time as a writer for WWE in the mid-2000s.
His thoughts on why Shawn Michaels started to resent putting Hulk Hogan over at SummerSlam 2005:
“Last opportunity. Ego. Derailed something that could have made them both money and the company money. If I had to point a finger, really what was the spark for it to go sideways, it was Vince. We start out. Hulk is back. He has his reality show. I remember producing Vince and Hogan and producing Hogan specifically with Bruce in Anaheim. He was so easy to work with.”
“Having grown up hearing, you know, he could be very controlling over his creative. I’m sure he was. I’m sure that’s probably true, but when I worked with him, he was super easy. He brought his entourage with his family and everything. I can’t say anything negative about producing Hulk Hogan at all, I didn’t have a bad experience. I didn’t see any of the ego. Maybe I wasn’t privy to it.”
“In the agent meetings, starting in June and into July, Shawn was sitting in those agent meetings. He was not office at that point. He was a respected elder member of the roster. I don’t say that in a disrespectful way, but he had tenure, and he was a legend, and would contribute in a very positive way in a lot of meetings. He’d sit there and we’d go over every taping. You know, okay, Hogan is doing this, but, Vince would start being playful and kind of messing with Shawn and say, ‘Well, of course it was leading to that match at SummerSlam, and we know who’s winning that one.’ His eyeglasses were down looking at Shawn. For a while, Shawn had a really easygoing disposition with it. He was like, ‘Of course. Haha. Right.’ He was easy. But week, after week, after week, after week, I think Shawn’s disposition changed and he wasn’t so into it. He was kind of getting salty about it. I’m like, I see the writing on the wall. This could get weird.”
“As it got closer and closer to the match, there were some bad feelings from Shawn’s side. I don’t know if Vince meant it. I don’t know if he’s trying to manipulate the situation, because if he did, the outcome I don’t think was something he desired. The outcome was a match that looked like a parody of a match and then no one wanted to do business after the match.”
“So it’s like, congratulations. I don’t know if your ribbing was just good natured just to bust Shawn’s balls or you were trying to motivate him to step up and have this amazing match or something. In the end, Shawn just felt like he wasn’t into it and just didn’t want to do it. So you got to be sensitive with talent. In that case, if he was just having fun with Shawn and I don’t think Shawn at the end wanted anything to do with Hogan. When a work turns into a shoot kind of thing, I think all of a sudden he really resented Hogan going over. Again, another guy that you had heard all these stories about was so easy and relaxed with everything, and all of a sudden like the horns came out, but you know, he was getting poked. You poke the bear enough, something’s gonna happen.”