By getting their show on the Fox 14, WWE made a major power move. What’s going to change what will remain the same, and in this new landscape?
Smack down was initially entitled Thursday Night Smack down and earned its name for several reasons. The Thursday Night part was clear; WCW had started airing a Thursday night show WCW Thunder, as well. It got decent enough ratings to worry WWE’s back office, who wanted to push on their own show.
The show was called Smack down for one simple reason; this show’s first idea was that it was going to star the People’s winner. Rock was fond of saying he went to lay the’smackdown’ .
But the series did not stay. For reasons unknown they chose to not renew their contract with WWE in 2010, although the CW should have been delighted with the high ratings obtained from the program. For a time the show was on the SyFy station, which had already aired the short lived ECW broadcast revival.
Smack down would change again, the past and future home of WWE’s flagship show, this time to Thursday nights on the USA network, Raw. Now, on the Fox network, the show will be airing in 2019. However, unlike previous incarnations, the network has made it clear they want certain things out of the Smack down telecast.
Here are five things which may change on Smack down when it moves to Fox, and five which will remain the same.
Fox is unlike any other network WWE has worked with hitherto now. Contrary to the USA network,or Spike TV, or the CW/UPN, Fox is one of those’big four’ broadcasting companies which also includes NBC, CBS, and ABC. In the days of streaming the internet and services, a network can lay claim.
Those kind of numbers would indicate that Fox has a great deal of clout when dealing with the WWE. 1 thing that has been rumored about the Smack down series that is new is that Fox wants comedy acts. This would preclude a number of the shenanigans which take place. But when the system wants it, they will most likely get their way.
Before the agreement between Fox network and World Wrestling Entertainment was finalized, there were lots of rumors that WWE would finish its brand split. These rumors, while unfounded, are based in simple logic; Using a new network to garner audiences for, the WWE would be behooved to use their whole roster.
This isn’t likely to happen. The brand split is not very old at this point, at least in its next incarnation. Also, if Fox wants to make modifications to the program–and all indications point to the fact that’s their own intention–then maintaining the brands separate would help to sort the rosters into camps apropos for their brand home.
For instance, if Fox doesn’t want comedy, then the New Day could be better off on Raw. Likewise, more serious wrestlers such as Dolp Ziggler might be more at home on Smack down.
Critics and fans despise the term sports entertainment for various reasons. For one, it is somewhat vague. It does not involve the words professional wrestling, which is heresy to many.
The reason McMahon chose the term is twofold. He doesn’t own the rights to wrestlers or the words pro wrestling. Calling his talent superstars and sports entertainers is a way to prevent copyright infringement issues.
Fox network is that enamored of the various shenanigans that take place on a WWE broadcast. They wish to include Smack down. This means they want the total presentation of the series to resemble what one sees on the NFL, MLB, and NBA. This could mean big changes for the way.
When the WWE was shopping Smack down to Fox network, one of the most obvious superstars they featured was AJ Styles. This was done for several reasons.
For one, the gimmick of AJ is far less outlandish than, say, Undertaker or Bray Wyatt’s. He portrays a professional athlete, and the majority of his personality is wrapped up in his ability to excel in the sports like aspects of pro wrestling.
Add in the fact that AJ is regarded as among the greatest –if not the very best–professional wrestlers in the world today, and it is a no brainer that he used to market Smack down to Fox.
With this kind of a sales pitch, it would seem illogical for the WWE to eliminate AJ Styles from Smackdown at this juncture. So fans of WWE’s blue brand can probably look forward to seeing the Phenomenal one dazzle for some time to come.
It has already been established in a previous slide that Fox network would like some changes made to WWE’s Smack down program. They want it to be a more significant sports demonstration, akin to what the NFL produces, and they also want it to have less of the outlandish aspects of sports entertainment.
Fox sees its sports block as a golden opportunity for cross promotional stunts. This means they want to, in essence, advertise the different programs on each of its sports block displays. Fox wants to be able to generate excitement for all its programming by utilizing the tools they already have.
What this means for the WWE is that appearances by sports celebrities will become the norm rather than the exception. While they will probably not be actively involved in wrestling matches or storyline angles, there is also a possibility that they might do that. Regardless, you can anticipate to see stars from other sports brands showing up on Smack down, even if it’s merely to say hello.
Fox broadcasting operates by one major principle; Sports programming is meant to be family friendly. This means that children of any age can listen in, and–even if they don’t know the nuances of the rules–they’ll at least not be exposed to situations or themes that could interfere with their development psychologically.
But with a PG rating, there are many things that go on. One of those things is the art of trading. Whenever a wrestler needs to bleed for the match that is scripted blading happens. They will often specially prepare a razor blade with masking tape covering all but a tiny edge. The blade can either be concealed in their ring equipment –wrist bands are a favorite place –or contributed to the referee, who can pass the blade while pretending to check on a fallen wrestler.
The wrestler creates a quick, deep cut and then jams the blade into their own forehead. A cut means less scarring and a faster heal time, as illogical as that may seem. It’s why Ric Flair’s forehead does not look bad, but Dusty Rhodes had a ton of scar tissue. Flair cut deep, Dusty cut shallow.
At any rate, you will not be seeing blood on the Fox network, so the wrestlers will be leaving their blades at home. This is in keeping with the WWE’s no blading policy, even though occasionally an exception is made (such as Roman Reigns at Wrestle mania 34 and Vince McMahon .)
We have already established on the earlier slides that Fox would like to have sportsmen in the NFL, MLB, and NBA show up on WWE Smack down Live. But that cuts the other way, as well.
Fans could wind up seeing WWE superstars such as Randy Orton appearing on other sports programming. Just like with the NFL and NBA stars appearing on the Smack down broadcast, this is intended to attain cross promotion between the different sports programming on their weekend cube.
Likely, the wrestlers will not make significant looks on the other sports shows and will only be used as hosts or to get a quick interview. However, it might come to pass that you see two wrestlers brawl on another Fox sports show, and end up resolving their feud on Smack down live.
Anyone who has watched pro wrestling since the mid to late 1980s will inform you that the show isn’t entirely wrestling because of its whole run.
While pro wrestling matches will always be the centerpiece, the main attraction, the numerous skits, vignettes, and movie packages that are becoming a part of WWE programming. From Piper’s Pit into the Highlight Reel, WWE has regularly utilized wrestlers for more than simply wrestling matches.
Piper’s pit, for example, frequently gave a platform to wrestlers who were struggling to get over with the crowd, while the Highlight Reel was essentially all about stroking Jericho’s self under the guise of a talk show segment. These segments will probably remain a part of WWE’s Smack down programming that Fox wants a more’serious’ presentation.
In keeping with the Fox network’s wishes to transmute WWE Smack down Live to a more serious, sports like show, they may want to make some changes to the booth.
Among the changes is that Fox will insist on adding one of the sports commentators. The idea behind the is it helps legitimize the pro wrestling broadcast with conventional, non entertainment sports like football and basketball. Mauro Ranallo is.
Is Corey Graves. While Graves hasn’t wrestled in years, social networking posts and his look might not have enamored him of Fox network. Whether this happens, expect Graves to wind up back on maybe or Raw NXT. This is speculation.
With the big power move to Fox Network of WWE’s Smackdown Live program, there will be many changes. One thing that fans can still expect when they tune in is the WWE as a component of the program — and occasionally out of ring action — in ring action.
This is not necessarily incongruous with pro wrestling, while Fox network may want a more serious, sportslike demonstration to the Smack down Live show. Where cartoonish characters became the norm, there was a great deal of work dedicated to presenting professional wrestling as a casual athletic contest.
This presentation will probably be a part of the Smack down Live broadcast, and fans can enjoy loads of flying WWE action.
There you have it: Five things that could change when Smack down moves into the Fox network, and five things which will probably stay the same. Questions or comments? Please leave them below for reading and thanks!