This week on WWE Smackdown, the main event of the show was a six-man tag with The New Day trio of Kofi Kingston, Big E and Xavier Woods teaming up against the foreign heel team of Cesaro, Sheamus and Drew McIntyre. It was set up after an opening segment where Cesaro and Sheamus said they found a friend from Raw, which brought out McIntyre.

During the match, the heel team of Cesaro, Sheamus and McIntyre were in control of the action. McIntyre even slammed Woods onto the announce table and trash talked him saying this was his idea of fun. When the match returned from break for the final six minutes of the show, there was no McIntyre. The announcers didn’t mention him either. There were rumors of an injury, but apparently, there was no injury at all.

The idea behind McIntyre leaving the match was a decision made by WWE’s creative team, according to Wrestling Observer Radio with Dave Meltzer. The feeling among WWE officials was that they needed to protect McIntyre after he lost to Roman Reigns in a ten-minute match at WrestleMania because they want Drew to be a top guy in the company moving forward. Since Sheamus and Cesaro were going to lose the match anyway (Sheamus was pinned by Kingston), WWE didn’t want McIntyre near the losing team. According to Meltzer, the decision makers in WWE felt like when fans watched the finish on Smackdown, they would forget McIntyre was in the match.

McIntyre apparently just walked to the back during the commercial break and was never mentioned on commentary again.

TJR Thoughts: My immediate reaction to this is…what? The match was about 10 minutes long, he was part of the first few minutes, then they went to break, the announcers didn’t even mention McIntyre and WWE thinks that we would just forget that one of the six guys in the match was actually in the match? I understand wanting to protect McIntyre after a WrestleMania Raw, so why even book him in this match? Just pick somebody else if the team is going to lose and you want to protect Drew. It’s weak storytelling from WWE. The thought that fans are going to “forget” a guy is in a match that started six minutes earlier is ridiculous.

* AJ Styles was not at WWE Smackdown Live this week due to what was apparently a hip injury, which we reported on yesterday. Styles beat Randy Orton at WrestleMania and then the next day, he was spotted at the airport walking slowly with a limp due to some injury he suffered.

Last night, Styles talked about his injury while playing a video game on his Mixer Account and revealed that the injury is not that serious.

“When you take a suplex from about 15 feet in the air… You know, I think I hit my left side before my right, just a little bit, and that’s totally on me, totally my fault. It kind of knocked my hips out of place and then everything else, all those muscles in your butt and your back, swell up and then those muscles press on your nerve endings, and next thing you know you can’t walk the next day. But, got x-rays [on Wednesday] and they were all positive, I didn’t break anything. So, as far as that looks, I should be good to go here soon.”

There was a superplex spot in the match where Orton lifted up and gave him a huge superplex, so that’s likely what Styles was talking about when he talked about the landing.

The good news is the x-rays were positive, no breaks and Styles should be good to go as he said. I assume he’ll be at the Superstar Shake-up next week although that’s not known right now.

Speaking of their WrestleMania match, both Orton and Styles expressed frustration about a bright light that was shining on the crowd during the match.

* Daniel Bryan, the former WWE Champion, may have suffered an injury at WrestleMania although there are no specifics on what the injury is. Bryan flew home on Monday and was not at Smackdown this week. He wasn’t even really mentioned on the show.

There are no WWE live events this weekend, so the superstars are off until Monday’s Raw and Tuesday’s Smackdown, both of which are in Montreal for the Superstar Shake-up that will lead to some wrestlers switching rosters.