The Jamie Noble vs. Tajiri match was bumped off of the PPV last night in order to do the segment with Mark Cuban and The Coach. As you can guess, it didn’t make a lot of the wrestlers happy to see real workers get bumped off of the show for a non-wrestler, especially when two non-wrestlers were already working on the card.
Smackdown GM (though we don’t know for how long) Paul Heyman was at the show last night but was not used on camera. When Heyman originally came back as the Smackdown GM last month, he was scheduled to be a fill-in for Stephanie McMahon, who was away on her honeymoon. Stephanie is expected to return in the storylines this week, even though Smackdown’s TV ratings actually rose while she was gone. I don’t know at this time what will become of Heyman.
There was a lot of talk backstage last night that the Smackdown brand was treated poorly, like a second-class citizen to Raw, on the PPV. There were a few items that people were pointing to, such as the Cruiserweight Title being bumped to Heat, Raw champion Bill Goldberg speaking down to Smackdown champ Brock Lesnar and The Undertaker being “buried” by Kane, as the reasons mentioned. With the rivalry between the brands growing, the company has to be careful to keep both brands on even footing both in the eyes of the fans and the eyes of the workers.
A number of people at the show have told me how “remarkable” it was that Shane McMahon was able to overcome all of the obstacles that he did last night and keep wrestling while full time guys were pinned or eliminated much easier. Your pedigree is everything folks.
The word making the rounds at the show was that Kurt Angle would actually have his neck surgery tomorrow instead of today so that he wouldn’t have to rush back from the PPV and undergo the procedure. The operation is considered relatively minor and is not expected to keep him out of action very long.