With Smackdown rumored to be moving to Friday nights once it starts airing on FOX in October 2019, there are a few interesting scenarios that will mess up WWE’s current plans when it comes to television production.
As things stand, the WWE production team goes to Raw on Monday and then drive to Smackdown to set-up for Tuesday. The two shows are held relatively close to each other to make things easier for those who assemble and tear down the sets considering they have to drive to each location along with a large number of trucks. If the show is moved to Friday nights, it would complicate things and increase costs due to a variety of reasons.
Having Smackdown on a Friday night will also break the “big four” pay-per-view set-up of selling NXT, the pay-per-view, Raw, and Smackdown to same city and arena. For the Royal Rumble, WrestleMania, SummerSlam, and Survivor Series, WWE holds all four shows in the same arena. Technically, having the show on Friday would still enable a similar sell, but there would not be any PPV-fallout for Smackdown since the show would be the last one before the PPV. The new schedule would be Friday to Monday rather than Saturday to Tuesday.
Another issue would be the WrestleMania weekend. WrestleMania weekend currently has the Hall of Fame on Friday and if Smackdown starts airing on Fridays, then the HOF ceremony has to move to a different day. Having the Hall of Fame air on Tuesday after WrestleMania does not make much sense but that’s an option that could be taken since they can only do one show per day.
205 Live would also have to move days as it starts immediately following Smackdown and that would mean shifting certain WWE Network programming.
Whatever the case might be, chances are that Smackdown will be live no matter what day it airs on FOX and the era of taped Raw or Smackdown shows is probably over at this point. The best case scenario for WWE is for Smackdown to remain on Tuesday nights but with a $1.025 billion deal, it’s hard to argue putting the show on any other day.
Smackdown aired on Friday nights before while it was on UPN and The CW.