More on WWE’s decision to return to live Raw, NXT, and Smackdowns
Dave Meltzer on why Vince McMahon has decided to start taping Raw, Smackdown, and NXT live again:
Friday and Saturday WWE were supposed to tape 5 weeks of Smackdown and Sunday and Monday tape 5 weeks of RAW all leading up to Money in the Bank. Then Tuesday everyone would go home until they’d have a date scheduled to film Money in the Bank.
That was the plan until yesterday. But Vince had always had in the back of his head that he wanted to go back to being live. Yesterday’s Smackdown was taped early in the afternoon and then Vince changed his mind and said were going live after tonight.
People have asked Meltzer “Isn’t Florida on a shutdown?” Yes Florida and Orange County are on a shutdown but it doesn’t matter to Vince.
There were many wrestlers who flew in for the weekend with the knowledge that they were filming for two days and that they would be done until May when Money in the Bank would be filmed in May. Many who also flew in were NOT used on yesterday’s show. So you can understand how many on the roster are upset by this.
Many superstars one being Edge self quarantined for two weeks after filming WrestleMania. Now with shows going live again the wrestlers will be unable to.
Vince is main reasoning for going live again is this:
He’s got his contracts with FOX and NBC Universal(USA) they specifically say they’re only allowed 3 non live shows per year. Which are the 2 European shows and the Christmas show. Vince is worried if they violate the contract that one of these networks would have an out to not pay WWE and withhold money if they start struggling financially during the pandemic.
They’re not scared of USA kicking them off because USA needs them. It’s FOX who’s into live sports that they’re worried about. FOX is basically keeping WWE afloat with the huge TV deal they’ve signed. Last quarter it was revealed that everything in the WWE from merchandise to ticket sales to the network were all in the negative. It was just the FOX deal and Saudi shows that were on the plus side of things.
Meltzer himself doesn’t think the networks would withhold the money if WWE remained taped throughout this period but Vince does and he thinks this is the correct financial decision.