This year's SummerSlam event in Toronto was loaded with star power but two of SmackDown's primary and elite competitors were absent from the match card.
Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan didn't end up wrestling at the show, despite rumors that WWE would pit the two against each other at SummerSlam. Instead, Rowan attacked Buddy Murphy during his match against Apollo Crews - and Bryan was seen looking on backstage.
Murphy had told Reigns that Rowan was behind a series of mysterious and brutal attacks on him. With Rowan working as Bryan's enforcer, there was hope that we'd get to see the latter go up against Reigns in Toronto.
According to Bryan Alvarez of Wrestling Observer Live (h/t Ringside News), the original plan was for Reigns and Bryan to square off at SummerSlam. Instead, WWE opted to "do this compelling angle to make people more interested in the match," and the Reigns-Bryan match could end up taking place at Clash of Champions or Hell in a Cell instead.
Last week, Bryan and Rowan told Reigns they found his real attacker - and he revealed somebody who looked exactly like Rowan. But on this week's episode of SmackDown, Rowan was seen on surveillance footage from the first attack on Reigns. An angry Bryan berated Rowan and ordered him to leave.
The first attack saw somebody drop a bunch of backstage equipment and debris on Reigns. A week later, Reigns was backstage on Raw to confront Samoa Joe. A speeding car came in and crashed into Reigns' vehicle before driving off. After a lengthy investigation, Bryan and Reigns finally found the real culprit. Now, we wait and see what happens next for the two superstars.
What This Means
Bryan and Reigns have already clashed with most of the top main event stars on SmackDown, and a match between them is long overdue. Reigns is seeing his popularity rise with the WWE Universe, while Bryan is flourishing as a top-tier heel. Both men display phenomenal in-ring work as well, so a match between the duo would be nothing short of tremendous quality.