On the July 30 edition of Smackdown Live, Sami Zayn challenged Aleister Black, threatening to beat and “expose” him so that “the hype could end, and he could heal and move forward.” You can watch that clip here.
Sami ended the challenge with, “… and I’m gonna do it at SummerSlam,” making it clear that the challenge was for, you know, SummerSlam. So it was surprising that Black actually answered Zayn’s challenge on the following Smackdown.
So what happened? Why was the match seemingly planned for and then scrapped from the SummerSlam card? On the most recent episode of Wrestling Observer Live, Dave Meltzer noted that the change of plans had to do with Vince McMahon reportedly “tearing up” the show’s script and rewriting it himself only hours before air.
“The deal with Aleister Black and Sami Zayn was when Vince showed up and didn’t like Smackdown and he tore the whole show apart…when he was done with the stuff he didn’t like and then changing the main event, they had an hour to fill. It was, ‘Well, what can we do with this hour? Let’s put the Aleister Black match with Sami Zayn on. So that was one of the things they did to fill the hole. So they took that off the PPV. That’s the reason that’s off the PPV.“
It seems that being randomly shaken up is par for the course for this year’s event, as the promoted Dolph Ziggler vs. The Miz match turned into Dolph Ziggler vs. Bill Goldberg on Monday night, and questions of whether or not Roman Reigns will wrestle or miss the show entirely are being chalked up to the “fluid” nature of the card and its booking.
All in all, I guess it’s better to give Sami and Aleister six minutes on TV than 30 seconds on pay-per-view.