In the latest edition of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Dave Meltzer has reported that The New Day was set to feud with new SmackDown team The Forgotten Sons, but will now battle The Artist Collective, Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro. The change was due to Jaxon Ryker’s comments on social media amidst the ongoing #BlackLivesMatter protest.
His words, which were supportive of US President Donald Trump and his stance against the protesters, hit a nerve with talent across the industry, including his Forgotten Sons partners. Both Steve Cutler and Wesley Blake “immediately and publicly distanced themselves” from their partner, but that wasn’t enough to avoid the act being taken off television for the time being.
The entire “Forgotten Sons” gimmick and its heavily patriotic leanings have also been called into question, especially with them scheduled to go against the African-American members in The New Day. The team was last on television on May 10th, involved in a Fatal Four Way for the Smackdown Tag Titles that also involved The New Day.