Less than two weeks shy of SummerSlam, reports are now suggesting that WWE Chairman Vince McMahon has ordered wholesale last-minute changes to this week’s episode of SmackDown Live.
The company recently announced that The OC will be in action tonight as they take on The New Day, which is a switch up from the match that was previously scheduled to take place that saw Big E and Xavier Woods take on Elias and Drew McIntyre in a non-title match.
According to reports by both The Wrestling Observer and Pro Wrestling Sheet, Vince McMahon entered the creative meeting earlier today and forced the entire show to be re-written. There were already segments announced for tonight’s show live from the FedExForum in Memphis, including a special episode of The Kings Court, hosted by Jerry Lawler with WWE Hall of Famer Trish Stratus as his guest.
The previously announced match between Finn Balor and Dolph Ziggler is also expected to still take place since WWE’s official website still has the match and the Kings Court segment listed on their preview.
It is unknown what Vince McMahon was unhappy with earlier today, but the episode has now seemingly been re-written and will be the penultimate stop for the Blue Brand before they head into Toronto for SummerSlam on August 11th.
WWE later changed this scheduled match once again to announce that WWE Champion Kofi Kingston would be battling AJ Styles in a non-title match instead, The New Day and The OC are expected to be at ringside.
Trish Stratus vs Charlotte is expected to begin its build-up tonight as the WWE Hall of Famer makes her first appearance for WWE in almost a year, while the SmackDown Tag Team Championship match could also be made official.
WWE is under a lot of pressure right now to keep ratings at their peak and last night’s Raw was one of the best episodes the company has put together all year, so tonight’s SmackDown Live obviously had to follow suit.