In a twist that left WWE fans apprehensive, Vince McMahon returned earlier this year as the Executive Chairman of the company. Worries escalated among fans when they realized McMahon might once again assume control over the creative direction of WWE. Unfortunately, those fears materialized as McMahon made significant changes to the plans for Smackdown last week, prompting concerns within the company.
During the episode of Friday Night Smackdown, Iyo Sky accepted Shotzi’s challenge on behalf of Bayley, putting her spot in the Money in the Bank ladder match on the line in a match scheduled for the following week’s show. However, to the surprise of fans, the match was ultimately scrapped. This alteration was not an isolated incident, as a triple threat match featuring LA Knight, Butch, and Santos Escobar, as well as a bout between Baron Corbin and Cameron, were also removed from the card.
The backstage response to these changes was a mix of disappointment and frustration. Some individuals within WWE attempted to prevent Vince McMahon from altering plans for both Smackdown and RAW, recognizing the potential negative impact on the shows. However, their efforts proved fruitless as McMahon asserted his authority and proceeded with the changes.
Dave Meltzer shed light on the situation during his discussion on Wrestling Observer Radio. Meltzer revealed that backstage rumors indicated widespread discontent among WWE personnel as a result of the altered plans. It was natural to assume that many individuals were unhappy with the situation, and one notable figure mentioned was Triple H.
“He re-did the entire show (SmackDown). I’ve heard a lot about this, and I know that there’s rumors that… everyone’s gotta be, like, treading on water. Because I am sure, logic will tell you, that there are many unhappy people. And Paul Levesque has to be one of them.
“These are matches that were built up with promos, they’ve been promoted for a week, they did the angles last week, and then just take them away like nothing.
“So it’s gotta be frustrating for the writers, it’s gotta be frustrating for Paul Levesque. But the thing is, it’s Vince, right? And you can’t say anything.
That’s what somebody brought up to me, if you’re a writer, you can’t say anything to Vince. Even if you’re Paul Levesque you can’t say anything to Vince because you’re f***** if you say anything to Vince. So you can’t say anything.
They’re trying to figure out a way to have him not do this. One person noted to me like, it would be a lot better if you did it the day before, or two days before. But he’s doing it the day of the show.
(Last) Monday wasn’t bad, it was only he dumped the Seth Rollins and Ciampa match, and I knew a lot of people who thought it was for the better, because the Finn Balor attacking Seth Rollins, it adds more heat to the pay-per-view.
Yeah, you missed out on Seth Rollins and Ciampa, would have probably had a really good match. Ciampa would have lost but it would have been… I think he would have benefited a lot more losing to Seth than he would beating Miz. He didn’t get anything out of beating Miz. But, he’s not Vince’s priority.
Just like this week, whatever they were gonna do with Shotzi and Bayley, Shotzi and Bayley aren’t Vince’s priority. Cameron Grimes and Baron Corbin aren’t Vince’s priority.
They added that Rey Mysterio/LA Knight match for LA Knight to get a win, so obviously Vince has gotta be somewhat high on LA Knight, and in Vince’s eyes, Rey is a guy that you always beat because people will always get into his matches and he’s bulletproof and all that.
When I saw that unadvertised match when I was watching it, before I had even heard, it was like ‘This is Vince. I know Vince’s MO with Rey’.
All these things that are advertised that don’t happen in the last couple of weeks, they’re always, or 90% of the time or more, they’re Vince. But this one was the most because it was three matches advertised all pulled hours before the show. So there was a lot of frustration. But it’s Vince.
I’m sure there’s gonna be people who are gonna try to ask him nicely, but it’s Vince, he’s gonna do what he’s gonna do.”