The WWE, largest pro-wrestling company in the world, is currently looking at Fox as their new home. With their contract with the USA network nearing its end, WWE has been looking to other outlets for their weekly television shows “Monday Night Raw”, and “SmackDown Live”. While it seems that Raw will stay on the USA network with a reported $265 Million a year, SmackDown looks as though it will moving. Fox is reportedly in talks in finalizing a deal with the WWE to air SmackDown Live. Since the UFC will no longer be airing on Fox, they are looking to WWE to fill in that gap. While the deal is not finalized, WWE could be paid 1 Billion dollars for five years of programming.
This deal if it becomes finalized will be a massive financial gain for WWE. SmackDown is widely considered the “B” show compared to Raw, which came as a surprise when it was revealed that Fox was willing to pay that type of money. This can mean changes for the brand in the future for when they do make the jump over to Fox.
SmackDown will most definitely step their quality of programming up with this much money hanging in the balance as well as top WWE stars moving over to the brand as well. Within the last few years, SmackDown had a resurgence to prominence in the eyes of the WWE audience as more storylines have become SmackDown exclusive, and with the brand split in 2016, it has become a staple in WWE programming.
One of the biggest stories coming out of the WWE/Fox deal is the idea for a weekly studio show. The details of what the show will be have not been released, but there is speculation that WWE will revive its original studio show “Talking Smack.” This show took place immediately after SmackDown went off the air and was hosted by interviewer Renee Young and then manager of SmackDown itself Daniel Bryan.
Since the show already has a built-in audience, this seems to be the most likely scenario. The show can be used to promote storylines, and hopefully used to bring new fans into the product. The show helped showcase the superstars and their personalities in a more intimate setting, with really help resonate with fans, and in turn, help get their characters over in the long run.
The Miz was the biggest beneficiary of this show because he was able to push his “heel” persona even farther in which he solely built an entire feud with Daniel Bryan, without the help of the television show itself. It was only after the WWE bring this feud to the limelight. Because of the success of this angle, there is a future match that fans are anticipating between these two. There is still much more to come in the new few weeks to follow about this deal, and more news will surely come out.