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By Mike Johnson on 2021-08-22 19:20:00

Since we have gotten a number of emails asking about this, Sasha Banks was never in Las Vegas for Summerslam weekend.  She never returned back on to the road for WWE after missing the live events in the Carolinas the weekend of 8/14. 

As reported over the course of the last week, there had been continued talk as WWE made their way closer to Summerslam that Belair vs. Banks would not take place.  The two did not appear last week at live events in the Carolinas.  WWE sources later claimed both were "cleared" to compete at the PPV but as WWE got closer to the PPV, word began to spread internally inside the company that while Belair was indeed cleared, now Banks would likely not be appearing

Summerslam morning, we reported Banks was not expected to perform on the show.

Belair returned to the road for WWE at this past Friday's Smackdown taping in Phoenix.  Segments of the show that were to include Banks were re-written as Banks was not cleared to appear on the show.  There were some reports floating around that Banks was never scheduled to appear on this past Friday's Smackdown, but they are absolutely incorrect. has been told by WWE sources that the Banks situation is not an injury issue.

Although it was well known Lynch would be at Summerslam (as we broke she would be at the PPV several weeks ago), she was hidden all day in advance of her ring entrance in an attempt to prevent her return from leaking.  The Carmella appearance was to swerve fans before unveiling Lynch.    The Banks issue led to Lynch returning weeks ahead of schedule as she was originally slated to return full-time in October.

The quick Lynch victory was designed to pop the fans who were expecting Banks vs. Bianca and instead give them the return of a major name.  We are told it was 100% a Vince McMahon call and the title switch to Lynch was specifically designed to make her return even more spectacular.   It should be noted that the quick nature of the match (27 seconds) was seen by a number of fans as taking the wind out of the sails of Bianca Belair, but we are told that even though some in the company expressed that concern beforehand, the idea was that the moment was about Lynch per Vince McMahon's vision for the PPV.  

The current plan is for Lynch to be on the Smackdown brand going forward.

For those who have asked about Belair's push, we are told last night's PPV match was not an indication of Belair being taken down a notch.  It was simply how WWE decided to react to the Sasha Banks situation and the need for a substitution on one of the biggest shows of the year.

For those wondering why WWE kept promoting Sasha Banks vs. Bianca Belair when they knew it wasn't going to happen, we are told that the decision was made to keep promoting the bout as a way to make the Lynch return a "bigger" moment, feeling it was a suitable substitution that would catch the fans by surprise.

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