Top SmackDown Rumors: Big name may be responsible for Billie Kay's release, veteran's botch at WrestleMania 37, former WWE Champion leaving? (23rd April)

Banks vs Belair/Billie Kay
Banks vs Belair/Billie Kay
Shiven Sachdeva

Welcome to another edition of the top SmackDown rumors that could have a major impact on the blue brand. As WWE marches towards WrestleMania Backlash, SmackDown has been trying to build up new feuds and programs for the pay-per-view.

In today's edition, we will take a look at WWE's reported plan to give a major push to a former US Champion, the consequences of a big blunder at WrestleMania and much more. Plus, we will look into who was responsible for the recent release of SmackDown's Billie Kay.

So, without further ado, let's dive in and take a look at some of the big stories and rumors related to SmackDown.

#5 SmackDown's Michael Cole felt terrible after botch at WrestleMania 37

SmackDown's veteran announcer Michael Cole made a major faux-pas during the main event of Night One of WrestleMania 37. The match saw Bianca Belair defeat Sasha Banks for the SmackDown Women's Championship. But just as the bell rang to make Belair's victory official, Cole incorrectly stated Sasha Banks had kicked out.

The blunder received a lot of criticism from fans online. Cole's former announcing partner Corey Graves defended him on his podcast After The Bell, saying that Cole felt terrible after the botch.

“If there’s anybody that’s truly unshakable, it’s [Michael] Cole. Cole felt bad, he felt terrible but I can relate. I almost thought the same thing, from our vantage point, it was not crystal clear. I’m not making excuses cause it was what it is, it didn’t take anything away from the amazing moment, it was reality,'' said Graves.

Graves further stated that despite having a monitor and headset, the stadium was full of more than 20,000 roaring fans, which made calling the action more difficult. He further said that even he was unsure if Banks had kicked out or not, further emphasizing that it wasn't Michael Cole's fault for believing so.

#4 Big push planned for SmackDown Superstar Cesaro

SmackDown star Cesaro has been on a roll for the past few months in WWE. The Swiss Superman defeated former champion Seth Rollins at WrestleMania. His win indicated that the company may have finally seen the potential in the SmackDown Superstar as a singles competitor.

PW Torch's Wade Keller stated that Cesaro may be in for a sustained push after WrestleMania 37. With Cesaro coming face to face with Roman Reigns on SmackDown last week, we may be getting a feud between the two powerhouses.

''It gave off a real sense, based on the overall presentation of the match, the finish, and the commentary that Cesaro is headed for a sustained big singles push this year.'' Said Keller.

#3 WWE Veteran Kevin Dunn did not like SmackDown Superstar Billie Kay

Fightful Select have reported that recently released superstar Billie Kay was loved backstage and her release hasn't gone down well with the locker room. The report stated the primary reason for Kay's release was producer Kevin Dunn, who did not see anything special in her.

The report claimed that Kevin Dunn did not 'get' Billie Kay and he saw a ceiling for her success in WWE. Billie Kay had made a bigger impact than Peyton Royce after The IIconics were split up, being featured regularly on SmackDown, albeit in a comedic role.

Most of the released superstars hadn't been used in WWE for a long time, but the former Women's Tag Team Champion had been a part of WrestleMania 37 just days prior to WWE letting her go.

#2 SmackDown superstar Daniel Bryan unhappy in WWE?

Smackdown superstar Daniel Bryan's WWE contract is reportedly set to expire soon. Rumors have suggested the former WWE Champion is no longer interested in continuing his full-time role in the company anymore and might opt for a part-time role instead.

Speaking to BT Sport after his WrestleMania 37 match, Bryan offered some clarity on his current position in WWE. He stated that he is unsure about his WWE future and might give up wrestling as a full-time performer.

''This was weird, I was out there, and it felt like I was detached. It was so strange that before the match started, I got this strange feeling like, 'Oh no, is this what it's like before you die? Am I going to die? Huh, well, okay.' '' Said Bryan.

Bryan complained of feeling an 'odd detachment' during his WrestleMania 37 match against Edge and Roman Reigns, which seems to have prompted him to question his love for wrestling.

"Maybe it was a sign that it's time to let go of being a full-time wrestler. The odd detachment, I was like, 'Woah.' Like I said, I'm either gonna die [laughs] or maybe it's a sign that this isn't it and it isn't the same type of fulfillment that it was before," said Bryan.

#1 WWE's plan for SmackDown announcer Pat McAfee

Former NXT guest and NFL star Pat McAfee has joined Michael Cole as an analyst on the SmackDown announce desk. As per Sports Illustrated, WWE has decided to give him a lot of freedom and the company wants him to be himself in the role.

This means that WWE should not be overproducing McAfee as a commentator, unlike how they may handle other announcers in WWE. This is likely why McAfee was his usual, boisterous self on his first night as the new SmackDown analyst.

Edited by James Sullivan
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