In today's edition of the top SmackDown backstage rumors, we will take a look at some of the most exciting stories revolving around the blue brand and its superstars. This article will focus on stories involving top names like Natalya, Gunther, and Shinsuke Nakamura.
There had been reports recently that Natalya had some issues that led to her no-selling Liv Morgan's finisher during a live event. The Queen of Harts immediately got up and left after being pinned by Morgan. Dave Meltzer reported that there was no heat between the two women.
#3 SmackDown Superstar Natalya has garnered a lot of backstage heat
Former SmackDown Women's Champion Natalya is reportedly under a lot of heat backstage. Ringside News reported that she has developed a reputation for being difficult to work with, in regards to the producers and the writers. Their sources told them that she had become so troublesome to work with that the producers contemplated complaining to Vince McMahon.
''The situation got to a level where many writers and producers considered taking the matter up with Vince McMahon.''
It was also said that she is being seen as unprofessional and reports suggest she has been "harassing" writers and producers.
Suggested: Sportskeeda Wrestling spoke to Natayla last year where she spoke about Ronda Rousey calling WWE 'fake'
#2 Curtis Axel has been let go by the company
Former Intercontinental Champion Curtis Axel had seemingly returned to the company as a backstage producer. However, as per PWInsider, he has been released, as he isn't being brought in on RAW or SmackDown anymore. Another producer, Ariya Daivari, is also no longer working for the company.
Budget cuts are being cited as the reason for these moves. Due to these departures, it is said that the remaining producers have been severely overworked. Adam Pearce has reportedly taken over Axel's responsibilities. Considering the heavy workload that WWE producers have to face, it may have been wise to keep a talented and experienced name like Curtis Axel around.
#1 Speculation on Shinsuke Nakamura's potential feud with Gunther
Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Gunther's right-hand man Ludwig Kaiser last week on SmackDown. Though Nakamura answered the call for Gunther's Intercontinental Championship Open Challenge, he later changed his mind and had the former Royal Rumble winner face his ally instead.
Though it seems that WWE is building toward a match between Gunther and Nakamura at SummerSlam, that might not be the case. Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter has stated that the feud between the two men could be a transitional program, so a blow-off match might happen on SmackDown.
Poll : Should Shinsuke Nakamura face Gunther at SummerSlam?