WWE’s weekly SmackDown Live show will debut on FOX this October, and the company has big plans for the occasion. In addition to the show’s new beginnings on a different network, it will also be a 20th anniversary special, with several stars from the blue brand’s past and present set to appear.
The company has already revealed that several legends and Hall of Famers are set to return for the special episode, including Lita, Mick Foley, Kurt Angle, Booker T, Hulk Hogan, Trish Stratus, Goldberg, Jerry “The King” Lawler, Mark Henry, Ric Flair, and Sting.
As for the modern-day superstars, WrestleTalk notes that Dave Meltzer believes that Ronda Rousey will make her long-awaited return to WWE. Having just landed a role on FOX’s network show 9-1-1, the ever-reliable wrestling journalist believes that she’ll show up on their newly-acquired WWE show as well.
“There’s always cross-promotion, sure. I think it heightens the chance she’s on that 20th [Anniversary] show, you know that first show. I would have thought that FOX would have done everything under the sun — out of all the names when they were making the deal the big poster was Ronda Rousey when they made it. You know I’m sure they really want her on that first show even if her name’s not announced.”
At the time of this writing, it’s unknown whether Rousey’s return will be just a cameo or mark her official tenure as a member of the SmackDown Live roster. As The Inquisitr reported last year, the network allegedly wants her to be part of the blue brand roster. In fact, her joining WWE was supposedly one of the main reasons why FOX paid so much money to acquire the show.
According to the report, FOX believes that Rousey’s popularity as a superstar who transcends the world of sports entertainment will bring more viewers to the network. Prior to joining WWE, she was a UFC sensation and rising Hollywood star, after all.
— WWE Public Relations (@WWEPR) August 13, 2019
As noted by SESCOOPS, FOX also wants SmackDown Live to be a sports-centric program. The report states that the network wants to add a sports bloc to its television schedule, therefore a less entertainment-oriented approach to the show is desired so that WWE content is more in line with other sports shows.
Rousey’s legitimacy as a fighter would certainly add to that, so don’t be surprised if she’ll find a new home on the blue brand in the near future.