It was revealed early on in tonight's broadcast from Madison Square Garden that Shane McMahon would be replacing Elias in the KOTR match against Chad Gable. Shane also made Kevin Owens the special referee, promising to forget about the $100,000 storyline fine against Owens in exchange for his help against Gable.
The decision to do Shane vs. Gable on tonight's SmackDown was a Vince McMahon call, according to PWInsider. There was talk of doing a Battle Royal to determine the replacement for Elias, but they decided to go with the pitch to use Shane instead.
Shane has been away from WWE TV for a few weeks due to jury duty. The feud with Owens was resumed on tonight's SmackDown, but there's no word yet on where they are headed with it.
Stay tuned for more updates on the King of the Ring tournament and Elias.