Tonight’s edition of “WWE SmackDown” is going to be more toxic than originally planned. Reported by PWInsider, and now confirmed by WWE, neither Zoey Starks nor her tag partner Nikkita Lyons are medically cleared to compete in the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship Tournament. The duo was originally scheduled to face Natalya & Sonya Deville. As reported by Bryan Alvarez earlier in the week, Stark suffered an injury at this past Tuesday’s WWE NXT Heatwave event in a losing effort against WWE “NXT” Women’s Champion Mandy Rose. Lyons’s medical issue is still undisclosed.
Newly-minted Vice President of Talent Development Creative Shawn Michaels confirmed Stark and Lyons’s status, and announced that the team will be replaced by former WWE “NXT” Women’s Tag Team Champions Jacy Jayne & Gigi Dolin of Toxic Attraction. According to the PWInsider report, the change was made sometime yesterday.
The match was supposed to be the main roster debut for Lyons and Starks, but will now mark the main roster debut for Dolin & Jayne instead. The Women’s Tag Team Championship tournament was announced on August 8th, with the team of Starks & Lyons being seen as something of a surprise. The tournament came about after the tag titles were suddenly vacated by former champions Sasha Banks & Naomi, who relinquished the titles in May after they walked out of the company due to creative frustration. WWE has reportedly been trying to reconcile with Banks & Naomi, who have been making various public appearances since their departure.