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From the Rumor Mill: Why Baron Corbin wasn't on SmackDown Live

Gary Cassidy
SENIOR ANALYST
News
3.70K   //    07 Feb 2018, 19:51 IST

Enthe Lone Wolf was reportedly intentionally kept off of television
The Lone Wolf was reportedly intentionally kept off of television

What's the story?

Although SmackDown Live is only a two-hour show and it's tough to get all the talent on one show, it's normally not difficult to spot when a big name has been left off the card.

While he appeared in a dark segment, Baron Corbin did not appear on television at all last night - and the answer to why lies within what he did after the show.

In case you didn't know...

While Corbin portrays a "heel" character and a "lone wolf" on television, his exploits outside the ring have made him very popular indeed.

Corbin, real name Tom Pestock, is a two-time Amateur Kansas-Missouri Golden Gloves regional champion and even participated and picked up a win at the 2008 National Tournament of Champions.

In fact, the former United States Champion also had a pretty admirable college and professional football career before coming to WWE.

While playing offensive guard for Northwest Missouri State University in the NCAA Division II, Corbin was named honourable mention all-MIAAA in 2007 and first team in 2008.

He went on to have two stints with the Indianapolis Colts in 2009 before signing with Arizona Cardinals twice - but was noted for throwing uppercuts during a team scuffle at training camp and was finally released in 2011.

Corbin has also made waves in the music industry, being named Revolver Magazine's Most Metal Athlete in 2016.

The heart of the matter

Well, it seems the reason Baron Corbin was left off of television was just that - his popularity.

It has been noted that The Lone Wolf received "the biggest pop of the night" when he appeared in a dark segment to tag with Jinder Mahal against AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura.

WWE reportedly predicted that Corbin would be loved by the Kansas City crowd and decided he was best left off of TV for that reason - but instead would appear after the cameras stopped rolling to satisfy what was essentially a hometown crowd.

Brad Shepard of BodySlam.net took to Twitter to confirm the reason - he has previously been responsible for breaking news of the Class of 18 Hall of Famers.

What's next?

Well, the only time we got a glimpse of Corbin last night was to confirm him as the opponent for a returning Dolph Ziggler. The match takes place next week on SmackDown Live.


Author's take

While I personally would have loved to have seen Corbin wrestle on TV and get a massive pop from the Kansas City crowd, it was pretty smart of WWE to keep it confined to the dark segment.

The Lone Wolf is one character who is a no-grey-area heel, no doubt about it, and WWE were probably right to protect his gimmick and just give the crowd and Corbin the cool moment in the building rather than causing any confusion for the casual viewers or even potentially throwing Corbin off of his heel tendencies on air.

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Gary Cassidy
SENIOR ANALYST
Gary Cassidy is a freelance journalist from Glasgow, Scotland, specialising in professional wrestling with Sportskeeda. Gary has ten years' writing experience and a 2:1 Honours degree, and is also a subtitler working on both live and prerecorded broadcast for television channels across the UK, USA and Australia.
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