What’s the story?
I previously reported that members of FOX staff had been in discussions about approaching WWE and Donald Trump about a possible presidential appearance on SmackDown Live. This would be with a view to ensuring a high rating when the show debuts on FOX channels.
At that time, I did report that it wasn't clear whether the President or WWE had been directly contacted and that my primary source had been screenshots of e-mails between the FOX employees in question.
I can now confirm that things have progressed since, with WWE and Donald Trump now part of the conversation.
In case you didn’t know…
SmackDown Live is set to debut on FOX in the fall, and there have been a lot of discussions since that announcement about the intentions that FOX has towards the product. Marketing has already started, and there are a lot of rumors emerging about who FOX and WWE want to see on their first SmackDown Live broadcast in order to ensure the best possible start.
Were Trump to appear, he would not be the first president to appear on WWE programming depending on the type of appearance. Former President Obama has also made a brief appearance in the past.
Trump also has very strong connections with the FOX network. He has made several phone-ins to FOX and Friends and is believed to have a connection both media and personally.
The heart of the matter
I've now been told by a FOX source and a separate WWE source that talks have progressed to the point that WWE and Donald Trump's own team are now part of the conversation.
I'm told that Trump himself has shown an interest in appearing on SmackDown Live, but WWE has been told to make sure his appearance is "bigger than Obama."
However, there is believed to be a reluctance within the WWE to dedicate too much airtime, or potentially live time in the arena, to a potential presidential performance. Trump is, of course, known to give very long speeches that often cover a variety of topics.
Between logistical concerns, potential safety issues and standard pre-production, there are indications that WWE would prefer something contained and perhaps pre-recorded.
I'm told that discussions are ongoing while are three sides attempt to reach an agreement. For their part, FOX seems very happy with proceedings thus far.
It is still very early in proceedings, and if an agreement can not be reached, it's hard to tell how FOX or the President himself may react.
There is also now an additional WWE Wrestler in proceedings by the name of Eric Bischoff.
Under sustained pressure from FOX, it seems likely at this point that Donald Trump, the President of the United States, will appear on SmackDown Live in some manner.
When reporting on this story, please credit SportsKeeda as the original source.
See WWE Smackdown Results, Highlights of event, & more on WWE Smackdown Results pagePublished 24 Jul 2019, 15:02 IST