Report: Smackdown Women’s Title Match at WWE Extreme Rules Changed Due to Illness

There was a change made to the Smackdown Women’s Title match at Sunday’s WWE Extreme Rules pay-per-view. The match was originally advertised as Bayley defending the title against Alexa Bliss after Nikki Cross beat Bayley in a non-title match, which led to Alexa getting another title shot.

This week on Raw, Nikki Cross beat Dana Brooke faster than Bayley beat Sarah Logan in a Beat the Clock challenge, so that meant that Cross/Bliss got to pick the stipulation for Extreme Rules. Cross, who is still a babyface, announced that it would be a 2 on 1 Handicap Match with Cross/Bliss challenging Bayley for the Smackdown Women’s Title. On Smackdown, Cross claimed that if her team wins then her and Alexa will be the co-Smackdown Women’s Champion, which would be similar to what Michelle McCool and Layla (aka Laycool) were doing nine years ago.

According to Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio last night, the original plan was to do Bayley vs. Bliss as a singles match, but that was changed due to Bliss suffering from a sinus infection. Here’s how Meltzer explained it:

“The handicap match was a late change and everything that happened this Tuesday without Alexa Bliss was because of her sinus infection and they re-wrote that whole storyline so they may have done an Alexa Bliss/Bayley beat the clock challenge, but the reason that made no sense was because the end result was because of Alexa Bliss’ condition they are going to do a handicap match to protect Alexa. So in doing that they had to come up with a reason and they had this beat the clock thing. So Nikki Cross had to win. Then even though Nikki Cross is a babyface she had to ask for the handicap match.”

Bliss was off the road this week to allow her to recover from the sinus infection. She is expected to be at Extreme Rules, but we won’t know how ready she’ll be until they get to the show on Sunday.

Bliss tweeted about her illness over the last week.

TJR Thoughts: Best wishes and good health to Miss Bliss. I don’t feel like they’ll do a title change here, but it’s certainly a possibility because of how much WWE loves putting titles on Bliss.