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The real reason why WWE will move SmackDown LIVE to Friday revealed

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Ever since its creation in 1993, Monday Night Raw has been seen as WWF and WWE's primary show, while SmackDown has usually been classed as the "B-show". 

The red brand has always been the company's flagship programme - and during brand splits, it has often been home to a stronger roster of superstars. 

Currently, it boasts the likes of Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Kevin Owens and Braun Strowman, as well as Nia Jax, Ronda Rousey and Alexa Bliss. 

The SmackDown Live roster, in comparison, is not quite as stacked. AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, Daniel Bryan and Samoa Joe are the biggest draws there, along with Asuka and Charlotte Flair.

As Raw is WWE's primary focus, it has always had a permanent live broadcasting slot on Monday nights. 

SMACKDOWN'S TV STRUGGLES

SmackDown though, hasn't been so lucky. Since its debut in 1999, the show has been moved from airing on Thursday nights to Friday, returning to Thursday and then eventually in 2016, airing live on Tuesday's.    

It's also had a number of different networks to call home in the US. SmackDown was originally shown on the UPN television network, then moved to The CW Network, before being broadcast on Syfy and eventually ending up on the USA Network. 

Since it was aired live for the first time two years ago, SmackDown has better established itself as an appealing brand for both WWE fans and wrestlers, but once again, that could all be set to change. 

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A NEW DEAL? 

There have been huge rumours suggesting that WWE are close to agreeing a $1 billion deal to move SmackDown away from the USA Network to air on FOX from 2019. 

Although the deal will make Vince McMahon a lot of money, it apparently means the show will be pre-recorded once again and move to Friday nights, a well-known tough TV slot. 

This may not sound ideal for the blue brand, but according to Dave Meltzer, there's a reason Fox want the show in that dreaded Friday night slot.   

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"The reason is that they [FOX] probably felt that Friday is a tough night for television and Saturday night they are doing a lot of sports," Meltzer said on the latest edition of Wrestling Observer Radio, per NoDQ.

"They would have to pre-empt wrestling all the time. So, Saturday’s out. I think that the idea was to put them on FOX, put them on a night that’s not a big night.

If they put them on Tuesday, they probably wouldn’t get bigger numbers than FOX already has on that station." 

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If the move does happen and SmackDown performs well in a tough slot, perhaps that would be positive for the current B-show - and it would certainly help turn it into a real challenger to Raw.

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Topics:
Vince McMahon
Wrestlemania
WWE Smackdown
AJ Styles
Roman Reigns
WWE

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