With Backlash 2020 coming up this Sunday night, the go-home show of Monday Night Raw and our best guess of what will happen on Friday Night SmackDown have given us an indication of what talent is booked for the pay-per-view and who is not currently scheduled. Of course, the card is always subject to change and WWE may end up making alterations to this lineup, but at the moment, the men and women in this breakdown are not currently advertised as being part of this event.
In some cases, this may be justified, or even a purposeful plan to set up a surprise. In other cases, it may be ridiculous. That is up to you to decide as we take a look at which superstars aren’t being promoted for this show.
From the Raw Men’s Division
— Akira Tozawa: #JobberStatus, unfortunately.
— Aleister Black, Humberto Carrillo, Rey Mysterio / Seth Rollins, Austin Theory & Murphy: It seems this feud is playing out on Raw for the time being. All the parties involved will probably have a match at Extreme Rules, though.
— Angel Garza / Kevin Owens: Both had an opportunity to fight Apollo Crews for the United States Championship, but lost to Andrade. That’s as good of an excuse not to be on the card as any.
— The Authors of Pain (Akam & Rezar): These two have been out for months on the injured list with no timetable announced for their return.
— Brendan Vink & Shane Thorne: Once MVP shacked up with Bobby Lashley, he dropped these two as his “clients” pretty fast, didn’t he? WWE seemingly just tossed them aside. Maybe they’re even back to being NXT talent in their eyes. That’s a shame. Their push lasted all of what, 3 weeks?
— Brock Lesnar: He’s not working during the pandemic and traveling is certainly not easy for him, either.
— Cedric Alexander & Ricochet: These guys seem relegated to just working Main Event and not Raw lately. What gives?
— Jinder Mahal: The Modern Day Maharaja just returned from injury a few weeks ago, only to suffer another injury. He’s had his surgery already, but there’s no telling what his timetable is for a return.
— Riddick Moss: Correct me if I’m wrong, but we haven’t seen him at all since the pandemic, right? If that’s the case, he likely is choosing not to wrestle during the outbreak and shouldn’t be expected for anything for a while, still.
— R-Truth: Now that he’s 24/7 champion again, anything is up for grabs as far as potential appearances. However, I’d imagine this isn’t one of WWE’s priorities, so I don’t think they’re going to schedule anything for this show. Title changes with this belt tend to be focused around social media and Raw more so than pay-per-views anyway.
— Samoa Joe: The Samoan Submission Machine is still on the injured list after suffering a concussion filming the “must be Monday” commercial.
— Shelton Benjamin: For the most part, Benjamin has been wrestling almost exclusively on Main Event lately, not Raw. That means he’s not in a position to be booked on this card as WWE doesn’t even act like Main Event is a show that exists in their catalogue.
— The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford) / The Viking Raiders (Erik & Ivar): Surprisingly, this title match wasn’t announced. It could still be added to the card before it happens, though.
— Titus O’Neil: These days, O’Neil pops up once in a while, but isn’t quite active in any in-ring capacity.
From the Raw Women’s Division
— Becky Lynch: The Man is pregnant and due in December. She’s out until at least January, if not longer.
— Bianca Belair: Poor girl got brought up to Raw, did the same segment like 8 times on 2 episodes and then promptly was brushed aside. What’s going on? Why wasn’t she in contention for Money in the Bank or given a match here or there against someone like Ruby Riott or an NXT talent or something? She’s going to waste.
— Charlotte Flair: She didn’t help the Raw ratings. She didn’t help the NXT ratings. She didn’t help boost Rhea Ripley’s credibility or career at all. Io Shirai didn’t even pin her at TakeOver: In Your House. Now, I guess WWE is just reverting back to even more of the status quo with The Queen. Frankly, I’m shocked she didn’t just steal Nia Jax’s title opportunity or replace Asuka as champion on the go-home show, given the way WWE acts like Flair is the be-all and end-all for the division. She’s great in a lot of ways, but good lord is she also overrated within the company in many other aspects.
— Kairi Sane: While she’s not booked to be on the show, she may appear in Asuka’s corner for her match against Nia Jax.
— Liv Morgan: Every time Liv Morgan gets something going, it lasts a week or two and then, she disappears again, only to talk about how she’s still finding herself. Is that WWE’s code for creative still trying to figure out what to do with her character after spending months waiting and only bringing her back with no intention in having her involved in the awful Lana storyline?
— Natalya: I wonder if the current characterization of Nattie is going to throw a temper tantrum because she’s not on the card. Yeesh…what a bad gimmick in a long running theme of bad gimmicks for her.
— Ruby Riott: Since Riott’s return, she’s been a stepping stone and nothing more. I wouldn’t have expected her to be on this card if there had even been a Fatal 4-Way for the title.
— Shayna Baszler: The Queen of Spades is likely waiting in the wings to have a match against Asuka at SummerSlam or afterward, depending on if WWE will put Charlotte Flair in that spot instead.
— Zelina Vega: No Andrade or Garza means no Vega. Standard operating procedure.
From the SmackDown Men’s Division
— AJ Styles / Daniel Bryan: These two are having their Intercontinental Championship tournament final match on SmackDown instead of at this event.
— Bo Dallas: #JobberStatus.
— Bray Wyatt: The Fiend just recently welcomed his second child with JoJo. That’s likely the reason why he’s taken off this event. I would expect to see him back for Extreme Rules and/or SummerSlam.
— Cesaro, Sami Zayn and Shinsuke Nakamura / Shorty G: Simply nothing at all going on for these guys except the Shorty G and Cesaro thing. That doesn’t need to be on this card.