WWE Looking to Prevent Travel-Related Issues at Friday’s Live SmackDown – WWE officials are apparently putting in extra effort to try and avoid more travel woes that could shake up Friday’s SmackDown on FOX episode.
There were significant travel-related issues that caused changed at Monday’s non-televised live event in Columbus, OH.
Local stars Seth Rollins and Alexa Bliss missed the show, which led to “we want Rollins!” and “we want Alexa!” chants from the crowd. Becky Lynch and Bobby Lashley also missed the show, and word is that other wrestlers arrived late due to travel issues.
Johnny Gargano ended up pulling double duty due to the schedule changes. He defeated Baron Corbin early in the show, then worked the Triple Threat Steel Cage main event with Damian Priest and WWE United States Champion Austin Theory, who won the match. The match was originally announced as Rollins vs. Theory, but Gargano and Priest were added to make up for Rollins being absent.
PWInsider noted that much like the wrestlers and staff who went to New York City for last night’s SmackDown event from Madison Square Garden, the crew that went to Ohio also dealt with a “complete nightmare” of a travel experience. Some talents arrived “very late” to the Ohio show, and talents from both brands have described this week’s travel as being “beyond frustrating” already.
In an update, a new report from Wrestling Observer notes that some WWE talents and crew members were told to leave today, Tuesday, to make it to Tampa, FL for Friday’s SmackDown. There should be limited issues as many of the wrestlers and staffers are already in Florida as they live there.
SmackDown Superstars still have to work tonight’s Supershow live event in Atlanta, and Thursday’s show in Miami, but the top Superstars booked for the final SmackDown of 2022 will likely go ahead to Tampa.
SmackDown is scheduled to feature Raquel Rodriguez vs. SmackDown Women’s Champion Ronda Rousey, Sheamus vs. Solo Sikoa, plus Kevin Owen and John Cena vs. Sami Zayn and Undisputed WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns.