According to Variety, “‘Smackdown’, which moved to the NBCUniversal-owned outlet from sister Syfy in January, will be broadcast live for two hours every week starting Tuesday, July 19, from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m., resulting in five hours of live WWE programming on the network each week.”
Moving to Tuesday isn’t a big deal. The fact that the show is now live, well, that’s a monster announcement. No more canned matches and spoilers leaking before the show aired. Even people even watched.
Now, onto the really good news….
The debut of a live “Smackdown” comes as two of the WWE’s biggest attractions, John Cena and Seth Rollins, are returning to competition from injuries. And the company is expected to create strong points of differentiation between “Smackdown” and USA’s other live program, “Monday Night Raw,” according to the WWE. A draft will be held before the “Smackdown” launch date to determine which wrestlers on the company’s talent roster will be assigned to which program. Each show is expected to feature separate cast, plots and writing teams.
It’s about damn time. The idea that fans now have a choice to follow the storylines and wrestlers they want to their respective brand and matches and wrestlers have time to work and get themselves over is a long time coming.
No word on how the WWE will handle the championships, especially the World Title, and if Roman Reigns will get booed on two different shows or just one.