The Intercontinental Champion was reportedly set to defend his title against Jeff Hardy at the pay-per-view. However, McMahon supposedly tore up the plans that were in place to kickstart their angle.
Meltzer noted that Styles and Hardy could still be penciled in for the upcoming event. Several other proposed storylines were also nixed as a result of McMahon changing his mind, and it’s possible that both performers could be given other opponents.
Hardy also makes the most sense to face Styles as he’s a babyface who just emerged as the winner of a high-profile feud. The superstar was engaged in a controversial angle with Sheamus, but he seemingly ended it once and for all following their recent Bar Fight on Friday Night SmackDown.
“The Charismatic Enigma” has been without a program since that rivalry ended. Styles is also free at the moment, as his feud with Matt Riddle recently drew to a close after “The Phenomenal One” retained his title against the recent NXT call-up.
SummerSlam is regarded as one of the company’s biggest shows of the year. A title match between two popular veterans seems like a worthwhile showdown for the event, but the company’s plans should become more apparent following the next episode of the blue brand’s show.
The Sportskeeda report also highlighted that Impact Wrestling has expressed an interest in bringing Styles back to the rival promotion recently. AEW is also keen on signing the blue brand standout, per the report. If he doesn’t receive a prominent match at one of the premier pay-per-views of the year, he might be tempted to go elsewhere.
Meltzer also noted that the feud between “King” Baron Corbin and Riddle was scheduled to receive some focus at the event. An updated development indicated that WWE is reportedly considering adding Sheamus to their prospective showdown to make it a Triple Threat.
McMahon’s decision to tear up storylines might be due to the alleged backstage environment in WWE. As noted by Ringside News, the atmosphere has supposedly been chaotic during recent tapings. There have been employee complaints pertaining to a lack of creative direction and certainty, and recent programs have apparently been booked on the fly. Furthermore, McMahon has long been known to rewrite entire shows from scratch hours before they’re set to go live.