WWE SmackDown Match “Thrown Together” As Plans Changed

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The latest edition of WWE SmackDown saw several last-minute changes.

PWInsider reported that multiple stars were pulled from the July 21st show due to “medical reasons,” necessitating alterations to the planned show, with one story claiming the absences were COVID-related.

One knock-on effect was that Asuka’s title defence at SummerSlam against Bianca Belair and Charlotte Flair was announced on social media rather than the show, where it was to be announced during an in-ring segment with Adam Pearce.

With that segment canceled, Flair instead faced off against Ms. Money In The Bank, IYO SKY. The Genius of the Sky was originally slated to clash with Zelina Vega instead.

Now, Dave Meltzer has provided an update on the situation, both confirming the COVID speculation and the hurried nature of the bout between SKY and Flair during the latest episode of Wrestling Observer Radio.

“So Charlotte Flair-IYO SKY was also thrown together at the end. There were a couple of people who were scheduled for the show who did not appear for, in some cases, for COVID-related reasons.

“Maybe not had COVID, but perhaps they were around it. So COVID reasons the show was changed. Charlotte and IYO Sky was a late replacement because that was not the original plan.”

The match itself saw Flair defeat SKY with Natural Selection for the pinfall victory. Following the bout, Asuka made an appearance to attack her SummerSlam opponent, landing a German Suplex, roundhouse kick, and arm submission on The Queen.

H/T to for the above transcription.