The COVID-19 pandemic has put a spanner in the works of sports and entertainment as well as WWE, who've had to make numerous changes to their product over the last few months. RAW, SmackDown and NXT have had to change the way they operate, while WWE has moved venues, released Superstars, and tweaked the format of their show as well.
Former WWE commentator Jim Ross recently spoke about SmackDown and how fans could've witnessed something different on the Blue brand if not for the pandemic.
Jim Ross on how FOX would've promoted SmackDown differently
The current AEW commentator revealed that FOX, the broadcast partner of the Blue brand, would've done things differently to push the show. He revealed that a Senior Vice President at FOX is a big fan of pro wrestling and that he would've pushed to have WWE Superstars feature on NFL broadcasts during their games.
"You notice how FOX promotes Smackdown inside an NFL broadcast. If the COVID wasn't here, you could bet your ass there would be a lot of on-site sightings of WWE guys on NFL games. They do it right, that's largely because the Senior VP loves wrestling. He's been at FOX for over 20 years, and he knows how to promote." (H/T WrestlingInc)
Currently there's no cross promotion between WWE and other sports programmes that FOX broadcasts, but that could maybe change in the future once the pandemic ends. WWE signed a deal with FOX in 2018, which will see SmackDown be broadcast on the channel for five years.
FOX had introduced one show to promote WWE programming which was called WWE Backstage, hosted by Renee Young, which had the likes of CM Punk, Booker T, and Paige as guests. That was scrapped earlier this year after the pandemic.
Many fans opined that SmackDown got the better Superstars in the WWE Draft, and Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Newsletter revealed the reason behind it. He said that WWE are in jeopardy of losing SmackDown more than RAW as FOX has several products that could replace the Blue brand in their weekly programming, but USA Network - which airs RAW - need WWE programming on their network.Published 16 Nov 2020, 18:32 IST