We’re not officially in the final year of seeing WWE’s SmackDown Live on the USA Network as the company’s new deal with FOX kicks in next year as the program will debut on Friday, October 19th, 2019.
After news of the WWE and FOX coming to terms on a contract, there was a lot of talk about what kind of changes we could see to the blue brand, outside of the obvious one where the show will be switching nights. Last week, it was noted that FOX reportedly is looking to make SmackDown Live more sports-oriented with less comedy as it will be a part of a Thursday-Friday-Saturday-Sunday string of the NFL, College Football, SmackDown and then the NFL again on Sunday (see the story here).
In what may seem like an unrelated story, it was also noted over the weekend how current UFC Heavyweight Champion Daniel Cormier has a commentary tryout with WWE coming sometime after his bout at UFC 230, as DC revealed he had to put a previously scheduled tryout at the company’s Performance Center on hold due to the fight (check that out here). According to Dave Meltzer on the most recent Wrestling Observer Radio, FOX is very high on having Cormier play a role on SmackDown Live.
Meltzer notes that FOX is the primary driving force behind Cormier receiving a WWE tryout, as FOX executives like Cormier and do not want to lose him when UFC moves to ESPN next year. Of course, Cormier has stated he will retire this March and the belief is he will go into commentary for the UFC should he not be hired on by WWE. Cormier’s addition to SmackDown would of course line up with FOX’s desire to make the show more sports-oriented.
EA’s Take: I have never heard Cormier do commentary so I certainly don’t know if he can or even would translate to the WWE. However, I’m totally behind making changes to the commentary team on SmackDown Live, get Corey Graves out of there. That’s not to say I don’t greatly enjoy Graves on commentary, but I thought this was supposed to be a brand split with RAW and SmackDown being different from one another. Obviously, I say that in jest because I knew when it was announced that WWE would end up screwing with it (there’s a track record, folks). Still though, give me different. I don’t want to hear the same voices on both shows.
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