WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon is reportedly high up on Peyton Royce, Bianca Belair and Bayley, who currently holds the SmackDown Women’s Title and the WWE Women’s Tag Team Titles with RAW Women’s Champion Sasha Banks.
According to the Wrestling Observer, Vince held a creative meeting on Wednesday, July 29, the day before the 2020 Q2 earnings report the next day, July 30. That meeting was described as brutal with Vince approving nothing. Another meeting was held on Friday, July 31, and that meeting reportedly went 4 hours. Vince reportedly talked forever at that meeting about how much he loves Bayley and her new persona. He also commented on how he sees Royce and Belair as singles stars.
There were all sorts of issues on Monday, August 3 and Tuesday, August 4 with the TV tapings at the WWE Performance Center, which were for the August 3 and August 10 RAW episodes, and tonight’s SmackDown show. It’s usually chaotic on the day of WWE TV tapings, but this was described as an “overly chaotic week” due to the low ratings from the July 27 RAW, and due to how Vince was grilled by investors on the Q2 earnings call, and because of negative press about the ratings world, not just in the pro wrestling media, but the mainstream world as well, especially the financial and entertainment press.
During last week, Vince reportedly came up with Shane McMahon’s return for RAW Underground, and a RAW angle with Randy Orton and WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair. However, it was said that he would not commit to any other outside ideas. As of the morning of this week’s RAW, that was all Vince had approved of and the show was written but not with him approving any other elements. After Tuesday’s RAW taping, with the next day’s SmackDown taping surrounded in chaos due to Vince “blowing up the scripted show” and the loss of some talents at the last minute who were expected to appear tonight, the decision was made to tape just one week of SmackDown, instead of two.
The original plan was to tape just WWE NXT on Wednesday, August 12, to air that night and on August 19. That is still the plan, but since key production workers will be there, now they will tape the August 14 SmackDown episode on August 13. The August 17 RAW episode was scheduled to be taped a few hours earlier that day, along with the August 21 SmackDown show, but they were moved to be taped on Thursday, August 13, along with SmackDown, to save on costs. That still leaves the taping for the August 21 SmackDown show, the go-home episode for SummerSlam, but no official decision had been made for that taping as of last night.
It was also noted that as of press time, besides the NXT “Takeover: XXX” event on August 22 and the upcoming main roster pay-per-view dates, nothing is scheduled and everything is still to be determined. The logic would be to tape the August 21 SmackDown show by itself, the day before, since the production team is already working in Florida the next day for Takeover. However, people int he company, such as talents, producers, writers and others, have not been told of any new TV taping dates past August 13.