Four huge names were absent from backstage from Madison Square Garden on the eve of tonight’s WWE Raw.
The advertised Steel Cage Match main events did not take place as scheduled with PWInsider.com reporting that four talents, including WWE Champion Big E and WWE Raw Women’s Champion Becky Lynch, were not backstage for the show.
“WWE Holiday Tour dates tonight in NYC and Tampa will not be taking place as scheduled due to talents not being present to work the events. The advertised main events in NYC were Kevin Owens vs. Big E vs. Seth Rollins and Bianca Belair vs. Becky Lynch in steel cage matches.
“Big E, Seth Rollins, Becky Lynch and Bianca Belair are not currently backstage at MSG.”
Of course, there’s no word yet as to the nature of the other three absences, although Becky Lynch’s private relationship with Rollins has left many to speculate.
There’s no news on whether any of those talents will be present for the upcoming episode of WWE Raw, nor if any other Superstars will be absent.
PWInsider.com reported that Edge and Natalya were “rushed” to the show late on.
“We are told WWE is currently working out alternative plans for MSG. One of those plans appears to include WWE Hall of Famer Edge, who we are told was being rushed to NYC to appear on tonight’s Madison Square Garden event. The plan is for him to be wrestling on the show tonight. Natalya was also being brought to the NYC event.”
Edge instead took on Kevin Owens in a Steel Cage Match. Natalya took on Rhea Ripley. While the Steel Cage ended up being used for another encounter – Randy Orton & Riddle vs The Mysterios and The Street Profits for WWE Raw Tag Team Titles.
Meanwhile, the report added that it’s not only the Raw event at Madison Square Garden that was affected, with “changes” to be made to a six-man tag team match in Tampa featuring SmackDown Superstars.
“We are told there will also be changes to the Tampa main event, which was was slated to be headlined by Drew McIntyre and The New Day vs. Roman Reigns and The Usos. WWE Smackdown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair vs. Sasha Banks in a Street Fight has also been advertised for the Smackdown side of the tour.”
The NXT Championship was also defended on the show as Tommaso Ciampa took on Pete Dunne – but the report notes that was always the plan for the WWE Raw tour, and not a case of those talents being brought in due to other absences.