Last week, WWE parted ways with Friday Night SmackDown wrestler Steve Cutler, and it wasn't long before rumors suggested that the former Forgotten Sons and Knights of the Lone Wolf member was fired because he tested positive for COVID-19 in January. The latest update on the now-former superstar hinted that his release also resulted in the company giving the thumbs-down to what might have turned out to be a primary storyline on the blue brand's programming.
As cited by Wrestling News on Tuesday, Dave Meltzer revealed on the latest edition of Wrestling Observer Radio that there were plans for a six-man feud pitting Rey and Dominik Mysterio and Buddy Murphy against King Corbin and his Knights of the Lone Wolf — Cutler and Wesley Blake. As a result of Cutler's firing, WWE reportedly nixed the angle, and neither Murphy nor Blake — who had ironically been tag team partners during their time on NXT — have any role on SmackDown at the moment.
"He's [Cutler] out, he's now a free agent. He [Murphy] isn't being used because there is no spot for him. They booked him into this thing with Aalyah [Mysterio] and now they haven't figured out how [to get anything] out of it," Meltzer was quoted as saying.
Additionally, he pointed out that the recent personnel move left SmackDown's creative team in a quandary, as it wouldn't have made much sense for Rey, Dominik, and Murphy to feud against Corbin. Instead, the former King of the Ring winner has been kept in the same feud with the Mysterio father-and-son duo that he has been in since the start of the year.
As reported last week by Ringside News, Murphy has continued to show up to SmackDown tapings in recent weeks, though he has yet to reappear on the blue brand's weekly show. It also remains unclear whether WWE will continue to push his storyline relationship with Aalyah, which had garnered some controversy late last year due to their significant age difference.
As reported by The Inquisitr, Cutler won't be able to sign with a new promotion for the next three months as he alluded to his 90-day noncompete clause in a tweet where he acknowledged his free-agent status. His girlfriend, reigning Impact Wrestling Knockouts Champion Deonna Purrazzo, has also taken to Twitter multiple times since then to provide clarity on the details behind her boyfriend's release. On Saturday, she tweeted that Cutler was sent home immediately after testing positive for COVID-19 and that contrary to some rumors, he was not at work during the time he was sick.