Smackdown’s very first official pay-per-view of its own since the WWE brand split is fast approaching. This Sunday’s Backlash event will have to go on without three of its most popular Superstars.
After squashing the Usos on Tuesday night’s episode, American Alpha advanced to the finals of the Tag Team Title Tournament taing place on Sunday. Smackdown Commissioner Shane McMahon announced on the kayfabe-blurring Talking Smack that the heavily-favoured pair would, however, not be competing after all:
Just got the report back — Chad Gable will be out for 2-4 weeks. Non-surgery, it’s an MCL sprain, the ligament on the inside of the knee. So we have some quick thinking to do. Unfortunately that means that American Alpha is out of this Sunday’s Backlash.
As such, The Usos will face off against the Hype Bros, with the winner advancing to face Heath Slater and Rhyno for the Tag Team Championship.
John Cena is arguably WWE’s biggest Superstar, and drafting him was a coup for Shane McMahon and the Smackdown brand. Unfortunately, he’s also out for the first brand-specific event:
Though Gable’s injury is likely a storyline device to aid in this latest, valiant effort to give the Usos three-dimensional characters, Cena representing WWE in Manila and Shaghai is a pretty legit excuse.
No John Cena is fine, but no American Alpha? Total bummer. Do these changes make you more or less excited for this weekend’s event? Let us know in the comments.