Finn Balor was originally scheduled to challenge Shinsuke Nakamura for the Intercontinental Championship as part of the WWE Network special entitled Smackville this past Saturday night, but it was revealed ahead of the show that the former Champion was struggling with an undisclosed injury that would force him to miss the show and his change to reclaim his Championship.
WWE announced on their social media page that Balor was struggling with an undisclosed injury and he later went on to update his Instagram page to show that this had forced him to be hospitalized, with the stomach flu.
The show must go on as WWE always states, which is why Shinsuke Nakamura went on to defend his Championship against Ali as part of the show instead, in what was a great opening match since it was a last-minute change.
According to a report from Sean Ross Sapp on Fightful Select, there were plans for Balor as part of Smackville, but he was unable to follow through these. WWE reportedly wanted to give the WWE Universe a storyline reason why Balor was missing the show, but Balor wasn’t told in time.
“We’re told that WWE officials realized that Balor left when they decided that they were going to film a segment where Shinsuke Nakamura took him out. We’re told that Balor didn’t know of the plans, and there wasn’t any malice on his part,” he said via Sportskeeda.
The report went on to state that “Balor was actually at Smackville, and many stars were informed for the first time upon his arrival that he’d been battling the stomach flu and had been hospitalized.”
The Irish star’s Instagram update was posted with just the caption “SummerSlam” and he has already accepted a match against Bray Wyatt as part of the show, which means that WWE will want the former Intercontinental Champion to make his return as part of The Biggest Party of the Summer in a few weeks time.