On Tuesday's edition of Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer went into detail about some of the significant changes WWE chairman Vince McMahon allegedly made shortly before this week's episode of Monday Night Raw went on air.
As quoted by WrestlingNews.co, Meltzer added to an earlier report from PWInsider about the supposed developments, noting that the original rumors had some inaccuracies but also stressing that there was indeed some truth to them. According to Meltzer, it wasn't as if McMahon had come in early Monday evening and "tore up the whole show," as he purportedly "changed a lot of stuff" in the morning while on the phone with other creative team members.
The veteran wrestling journalist added that a few more updates went in before the final script was submitted after 9 p.m. -- less than an hour before the program went on air. These, however, did not include one change that was apparently made in the morning. The originally scheduled match between Ivar and Dolph Ziggler on "Raw Underground" was seemingly canceled, as Bobby Lashley was instead booked to attack Ziggler during the fight club segment.
"Yes, a lot of the show was changed. The Raw Underground stuff…that stuff is actually taped in the afternoon so he couldn't change that but obviously, in the morning he did change some of it because they spent a week building up Ivar and Dolph Ziggler."
As further speculated by Meltzer, McMahon might have rebooked "Raw Underground" because he wanted Lashley to "get his heat back" following his loss to reigning United States Champion Apollo Crews in an arm wrestling contest. In all, the Wrestling Observer founder opined that the segment's booking — which also included Lashley attacking Ivar and a few other men after he disposed of Ziggler — did not make much sense. This, he said, is because none of the matches related to the buildup for this weekend's Payback pay-per-view were updated.
Since last year, reports of McMahon making sweeping changes to WWE's weekly shows on the same day of taping have been quite commonplace, with several of them specifically claiming that he "ripped up the script" or something similar. These 11th-hour moves have usually been related to the company's declining ratings, which, as previously reported by The Inquisitr, have resulted in added pressure from television networks. Rumors have also hinted at the chaotic environment during recent television tapings, which was allegedly marked by a lack of decisiveness and leadership from the promotion's top executives.