WWE Advertising Two Major Returns for July 16 WWE SmackDown

The July 16 episode of Friday Night SmackDown will mark WWE's return to running shows in arenas with live fans and the beginning of a 25-city tour around the country. Local advertising for the show has already started popping up in Houston (the episode will be at the Toyota Center) and both Edge and Sasha Banks are being promoted for the show. Both "The Rated-R Superstar" and "The Boss" came up short in their respective WrestleMania 37 main events last month and haven't been seen on WWE television since.

Banks dropped her SmackDown Women's Championship to Bianca Belair, while Edge was knocked out and stacked on top of Daniel Bryan before being pinned by Roman Reigns in a Universal Championship match on Night Two. The ad also features Reigns, Belair, Big E and Rey Mysterio.

Edge, who is currently on a semi-part-time deal with WWE that has him wrestling more frequently than other part-timers, revealed in a media conference call prior to WrestleMania that the show was originally going to see him face Randy Orton in what would have been the rubber match of their feud.

"In my mind, I still thought, me and Randy at WrestleMania, me and Randy at WrestleMania, me and Randy at WrestleMania, and that's what my working plan was the whole time, until I was told it wasn't the company's plan," Edge explained. "And I went, 'Oh okay, but we still got to see this trilogy through. We still need to do this, and I was pretty disappointed. I just felt like the story deserved that. So when I found out that wasn't on the docket anymore, I was like, 'okay so then what?' It's worked out the way it has, which is obviously very exciting."

"Look, I go from thinking I'm wrestling Randy Orton at WrestleMania, which is a dream, to wrestling Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania for the Universal title," he added. "That's a dream too. All the courses changed and that's just what happens sometimes, and you have to be adaptable. And as much as I get an idea in my head, 'we got to see this through.' I have to understand that there's more to it, and there's multiple characters and it's like a chessboard...."


He continued — "A lot of it changed, it did. A lot of it was timing. I came back, and the Rumble takes place 11 years to the day from the last time I won the Rumble. And the second night of Mania is ten years to the day from when I announced my retirement. You can't write that stuff. So when you see that, you go, well, I guess that's the direction we got to go, right? Because that only happens once. You only get this opportunity to tell this story once."