Sunday's Backlash pay-per-view will be headlined by the rematch between Edge and Randy Orton, which WWE is promoting as "The Greatest Wrestling Match Ever." A lot has been said and written regarding WWE's promotional strategy for the match, and Edge and Orton have both stated in interviews that they arent' fans of the "greatest ever" tagline. But, according to Gary Cassidy of Sportskeeda, WWE's original plan for the Edge/Orton rivalry looked a lot different.
Cassidy wrote on Sunday that WWE planned on having the two meet in a WrestleMania 36 rematch at the SummerSlam pay-per-view in August. However, the match was bumped up by two months due to a lack of "star power" on WWE's current roster due to Roman Reigns, Becky Lynch, Brock Lesnar and Bray Wyatt all missing from the Backlash card.
Unsure if this is already known, but I’ve been told Edge vs Randy Orton was brought forward from SummerSlam due to the lack of “star power” available to WWE for #WWEBacklash.
The decision was made due to Roman Reigns, Bray Wyatt, Brock Lesnar and Becky Lynch being unavailable.— Gary Cassidy (@WrestlingGary) June 14, 2020
Reigns hasn't been seen on WWE television since March and likely won't be back until the threat of the coronavirus pandemic has further died down. Lynch announced last month that she's pregnant with her first child and will be out of action through the rest of 2020 (at least). WWE hasn't booked Lesnar since he dropped the WWE Championship at WrestleMania 36, and it's unclear if he'll be back before fans are allowed to start attending live events again.
Finally there's Wyatt, who lost a WWE Universal Championship match against Braun Strowman last month at Money in the Bank and teased using The Fiend to continue his feud over the championship. However he hasn't been seen on WWE television since then, and Strowman has moved on to a comedy feud with The Miz and John Morrison.
SummerSlam was originally scheduled to take place on Aug. 23 at the TD Garden arena in Boston. However Boston mayor Marty Walsh has stated publicly that the city won't host any large-scale gatherings until after Labor Day, forcing WWE to find a new venue.
WWE's latest pay-per-view, Backlash, takes place this Sunday at the WWE Performance Center in Orlando, Florida. Check out the full card below:
- Edge vs. Randy Orton
- WWE Championship: Drew McIntyre vs. Bobby Lashley
- WWE Universal Championship: Braun Strowman vs. The Miz and John Morrison
- Raw Women's Championship: Asuka vs. Nia Jax
- United States Championship: Apollo Crews vs. Andrade
- WWE Women's Tag Team Championships: Bayley & Sasha Banks vs. The IIconics vs. Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross
- Raw Tag Team Championships: The Street Profits vs. The Viking Raiders
- Jeff Hardy vs. Sheamus