On April 2, 1999, Friday Night Smackdown debuted as the secondary show for WWE. Monday Night Raw was always the staple for professional wrestling, but to disperse the talent properly, WWE needed another show for the other stars to appear on. So, Vince McMahon created Smackdown in an effort to create competition with itself, especially after WCW folded.
A picture surfaced online weeks ago that showed a WWE production truck with a new graphic of Smackdown on Thursday nights on SyFy.
For a few weeks, it was only a rumor that Smackdown was moving to the night prior. Then, WrestleZonereported that the movie is now official.
According to Syfy’s programming calendar on its official website, WWE Smackdown is being listed on Thursday nights beginning on October 2nd.
WWE Smackdown will precede “Haven,” which stars WWE Hall of Famer Adam “Edge” Copeland.
It was always a Thursday show, until WWE moved Smackdown to Friday nights in 2005. From then on, it was always dubbed, Friday Night Smackdown. This still doesn’t guarantee it will be taped live, because that was just rumored years ago. WWE will likely tape on Tuesday and it will be aired a day earlier than usual.
The possible reason for the shift is to do one thing, and that is crush TNA Impact Wrestling for good. That is not confirmed, but it is just a theory. Impact Wrestling is failing, that’s why Dixie Carter and her team of investors are trying to find a new home for the second-rate wrestling promotion.
Their move to Wednesday nights showed scare after the rumor came out about Smackdown. Carter will never admit to that, but if Smackdown and Impact Wrestling were both on the same night, TNA wouldn’t last a few more months. Even though the wrestling can be better on TNA, Smackdown is the bigger name and has the money to back it up.
In fact, Spike TV’s ratings on Thursday night are doing much better with Impact Wrestling on Wednesday.
Spike decided to air a mini-marathon of Cops on Thursday night, in Impact Wrestling’s old timeslot. The show drew more ad revenue from old episodes of Cops than they do with pro wrestling at a lower cost.
By putting it bluntly, that is very sad and not good news for TNA’s future. Spike TV is saving money, and at the same time, pleasing the fans of other television programs that aren’t wrestling. Pro wrestling is a huge business, but TNA barely gets attendance, and a re-run of Cops will always do better than Impact Wrestling.
WWE’s move to Thursday night has all of the potential to work with new ideas and superstars. In my opinion, the brand split should resurface and let guys like Bray Wyatt dominate Smackdown. Will WWE do that? Probably not.
[Image via Wrestlingnewssource.com and Wrestlingrumors.net]