A new SmackDown general manager was announced in the opening segment of tonight’s SmackDown Live, as Shane McMahon confirmed that Daniel Bryan will be a full-time member of the active roster once again.
He also revealed Bryan’s replacement to be Paige, who retired from in-ring competition on last night’s Raw.
Paige’s injury woes have been well-documented. She had only recently returned when she suffered another in-ring injury at a house show on December 27th 2017, a blow which kept her from being an entrant in the first ever women’s Royal Rumble.
Since the injury, Paige continued to accompany her fellow Absolution stablemates to the ring, but never got physically involved – even during post-match beatdowns carried out by Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville.
Paige wasted no time booking her first SmackDown match, and it’s a doozy. AJ Styles will face Daniel Bryan later tonight (at the time of writing).
This announcement follows a Monday Night Raw full of incident and surprises, as last night saw the return of Bobby Lashley after a decade-long absence.
We also saw the main roster debuts of NXT call-ups Ember Moon, No Way Jose, and the Authors of Pain.
Samoa Joe also returned from injury, challenging Roman Reigns to a match at Backlash on May 6th. Jeff Hardy also made his first appearance since being sidelined, amicably splitting from brother Matt and appearing to become a member of the singles division once again.
Paige’s emotional retirement speech was another major part of the show, and although she teased that this was just the beginning of something new, her announcement as the new SmackDown GM has surprised and delighted many fans on social media.