The original plan for last night’s WWE SmackDown 1000 opener was to do the non-title World Cup qualifier between Rey Mysterio and WWE United States Champion Shinsuke Nakamura, according to PWInsider. WWE went with the TruthTV segment with Vince McMahon, Stephanie McMahon and Shane McMahon instead. TruthTV was originally scheduled for later in the show.
The Undertaker’s segment was always scheduled to be the show-closer but it was originally planned to go much longer. WWE cut time from that segment when the show ran long. They also cut time from Mysterio vs. Nakamura, and Mysterio’s ring entrance. There was some speculation on time being cut from the World Cup qualifier between Rusev and The Miz, but that match was always scheduled to last just a few seconds. WWE did cut several backstage segments from the show, including a segment with James Ellsworth, who ended up appearing in a WWE YouTube video instead.
We noted earlier how Zack Ryder was said to be backstage but he was not used in the brief segment with Curt Hawkins and WWE Hall of Famer Edge. PWInsider reports that Ryder was there, just not used. Kane was scheduled to be at the show but he was not there. There was also talk of using Christian at one point but he was not brought in.
Regarding Batista arriving late to the Capital One Arena in his hometown of Washington, DC, one source noted that he did not arrive until around 7:40pm ET for a show that went on the air at 8pm ET. No word yet on if his arrival caused the Evolution segment to be pushed back at all.