3 times backstage politics led to WWE changing major matches

Backstage politics having a direct effect on major matches isn’t a new issue in WWE. The fact that a superstar can change the outcome of a match based on their star power sounds wild but is a reality. The likes of Hulk Hogan and Shawn Michaels, just to name a few, have reportedly benefited from backstage politics.

Even John Cena was once involved in backstage politics. For example, he was deemed responsible for burying The Nexus at Summerslam 2010. There have been multiple instances like this in the company.

With that in mind, the following article will look at just three times when backstage politics led to WWE changing major matches.

#3 Brock Lesnar allegedly changed the finish of the main event of WWE Summerslam 2018

Brock Lesnar is no stranger to backstage politics due to his undeniable star power. Since returning in 2012, he has been, for the most part, the top guy whenever he is around. So it’s only normal for someone of his standing to have some influence backstage. This leads us to the main event of Summerslam 2018 between Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns for the Universal Championship, which the latter won.

According to Jon Moxley (Dean Ambrose), the initial ending for the match was different. Speaking to Wade Keller, Mox revealed that The Shield was supposed to reunite that night, but Lesnar changed that.

“How it ever went was Brock’s idea. At 6 p.m. before the show, everything was supposed to happen, The Shield coming out, this awesome stuff that the writers have been working on tirelessly to have this perfect ending to SummerSlam that was good. Brock comes in at 6 p.m. and changes everything. Vince is like, ‘we are going to go with Brock’s idea.’ It made everyone else look stupid but Brock.”

wonder what would’ve happened if Brock hadn’t flipped the script. The Shield may have received a bigger pop than the one they got the next night on RAW. It would’ve been interesting to see how the original finish was supposed to go.

#2 The outcome of the World Heavyweight Championship match at WrestleMania 22 was changed

Randy Orton found himself on the wrong side of WWE’s backstage politics at WrestleMania 22. The Viper was initially booked to win the Triple Threat Match for the World Heavyweight Championship that night against Rey Mysterio and Kurt Angle.

However, WWE decided not to go with Orton due to the backstage heat, and Rey became the World Heavyweight Champion. In May 2021, Randy Orton appeared on The Kurt Angle Show and discussed how things played out.

“I do remember that they were going with me… I was supposed to be with Triple H and do the big deal and the big story going into Mania,” Orton recalled. “And I had messed up somewhere along the lines, and i think now, my punishment was kind of over with and they were ready to go with me again. I wanna say that they were running with me and wanted to put the title on me for this Triple Threat. I could be wrong but that’s my memory.”

Randy Orton’s career in his early years saw him attracting the wrong attention backstage. He was also the first to admit that he wasn’t mature enough to handle all that spotlight.

Fast forward to today, and Randy is arguably having the best time of his 20-year-long career. Even after backstage politics with Shane McMahon at the Royal Rumble this year, Orton seems to be doing much better now.

#1 Charlotte Flair vs. Sasha Banks at WrestleMania 38 never happened

Sasha Banks has been making headlines along with her tag team partner Naomi for walking out of RAW two weeks ago.

Banks’ issues with WWE and their backstage politics go back to before WrestleMania 38. In a report by Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Radio, he discussed the situation with Sasha and WWE.

“Sasha has always had issues, she was mad that Ronda got the WrestleMania spot… it was planned for Sasha Banks and Charlotte Flair which was planned for months, I wrote about it. She got moved down and they gave her the tag belts as kinda like a concession because she got moved down.”

Sasha has been one of the prominent faces of the WWE Women’s Revolution and for her to be used as a placeholder for someone else seemingly made her furious. These were just three of the many incidents of backstage politics in the company. You can learn more here.

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