Dave Meltzer Criticizes WWE SmackDown's 'Utterly Stupid' Strategy

WWE's Broadcasting Strategy Faces Critical Transition Amidst Network Shifts

by Noman Rasool
Dave Meltzer Criticizes WWE SmackDown's 'Utterly Stupid' Strategy
© WWE/Youtube

WWE has recently inked a monumental $5 billion agreement with Netflix, marking a significant shift as the streaming behemoth is set to become the new domicile for WWE's Raw. This groundbreaking deal is scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2025, with Netflix gearing up to broadcast the live show weekly.

However, WWE faces a broadcasting conundrum for its flagship program, Raw, with its existing contract with the USA Network drawing to a close in early October 2024, potentially leaving a three-month gap without television coverage.

WWE officials have acknowledged the absence of a definitive plan for this interim period but remain optimistic about devising a solution. Amidst the intensive preparations for Raw's transition to Netflix, fresh details have emerged regarding the future of SmackDown, which is slated to exit FOX towards the end of 2024.

A pivotal question arises: On what night will SmackDown be aired? This topic was extensively deliberated on Wrestling Observer Radio, where Dave Meltzer and Bryan Alvarez discussed the strategic moves surrounding SmackDown.

Alvarez speculated that the USA Network's apparent reluctance to extend Raw's tenure on their channel might be attributed to plans of broadcasting SmackDown on Monday nights. However, Meltzer countered with insights from a recent conversation with a WWE insider, indicating that as of roughly a month ago, the intention was to maintain SmackDown's Friday night slot.

SmackDown's Friday Night Fate

"The last time I conversed with someone from WWE regarding this matter, they emphatically stated that nothing has been finalized. The resolution requires collaboration among the broadcasting networks, but the prevailing strategy—at least a month ago—was to keep SmackDown on Fridays," Meltzer explained.

He further expressed perplexity over the USA Network's strategy, labeling the decision to stick with Friday nights for SmackDown as "utterly stupid." As WWE navigates these broadcasting transitions, the focus intensifies on ensuring the uninterrupted presentation of its marquee shows, Raw and SmackDown, to its global fanbase.

Dave Meltzer Smackdown