WWE moving back to live airings of Raw, SmackDown & NXT

WWE has changed plans to tape weeks of programming and instead, will move back to live programming beginning this Monday with Raw.

WWE was set to tape weeks of programming over the coming days that would include enough episodes of Raw and Friday Night SmackDown to take them into the month of May. Those plans have been thrown out the window and they will attempt to run live programming beginning next week.

The news of the change in strategy was reported by Ryan Satin at Pro Wrestling Sheet and confirmed to POST Wrestling by multiple sources.

WWE was set to tape episodes of SmackDown on Friday and Saturday followed by episodes of Raw at the Performance Center while NXT was to be taped at Full Sail University. It was believed that WWE would have enough episodes of Raw and SmackDown taped after this period to take them into the Money in the Bank event on May 10th.

Satin reported that beginning on Monday, they will be going live with Raw, NXT, and Friday Night SmackDown each week at the Performance Center.

Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter notes it was Vince McMahon’s call and that it was something McMahon was considering all along. Meltzer’s reporting adds that both contracts with NBC Universal and Fox allow for a certain number of taped episodes per year. It is not known if NBC Universal or Fox told WWE they must have live episodes or if WWE was doing this as a preventive measure in case the taped episodes could open them up to any financial penalties from the broadcasters.

Clearly, this was not an issue with AEW who have taped weeks and weeks of Dynamite to air on TNT.

The larger issue is the increasing amount of risk being assumed by those involved with the shows. When WrestleMania was taped on March 25th and 26th, it allowed all those associated to go home and self-quarantine for fourteen days. With this schedule, you will not have two weeks between shows and for some, that includes flying back-and-forth for those outside of a reasonable driving distance.

There is a stay-at-home order that has been issued within the state of Florida but that didn’t put these tapings in jeopardy with the company running Friday Night SmackDown from the Performance Center.

About John Pollock 5646 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.