As noted, tonight’s WWE SmackDown episode will feature a special tribute to The Undertaker, which will include a replay of the Boneyard Match from WrestleMania 36, which saw Taker defeat AJ Styles.
Word now is that around half of tonight’s SmackDown on FOX episode will be related to Taker, according to PWInsider. WWE just announced the Taker tribute on Thursday evening.
We also noted earlier how the official WWE SmackDown preview for tonight no longer includes Drew Gulak vs. WWE Intercontinental Champion AJ Styles, Sheamus’ toast to Jeff Hardy, or WWE Universal Champion Braun Strowman addressing Bray Wyatt. The previews for those segments were still live on the WWE website as of early Thursday afternoon. It looks like they may have been nixed altogether.
It was noted by PWInsider that current plans for tonight’s show also call for appearances by Hardy and blue brand newcomer Matt Riddle. There was no mention of Hardy’s segment with Sheamus. Riddle debuted last week on SmackDown with a non-title win over Styles.
There’s no word yet on if the apparent creative changes for tonight’s SmackDown are related to the positive COVID-19 test results coming out of WWE this week, but it was reported by multiple sources earlier this week that SmackDown would likely have to be re-written based on the testing.
WWE is taping TV today and tomorrow at the Performance Center in Orlando. Stay tuned for updates.