WWE Reportedly Moved Big Angles To Smackdown To Keep FOX Happy

Posted By James Walsh on 10/16/20


During the 2020 Draft, there were several moves of big stars to Smackdown, particularly Rey Mysterio and Seth Rollins. The two have been involved in a feud for months, along with Rey’s son Dominik (who was also moved to Smackdown). That means that the story can potentially continue, even if it’s on the blue brand now.

The Wrestling Observer Newsletter reports that this was done in order to keep FOX happy, by keeping all or most of WWE’s big angles to the network show. Neither Bayley nor Sasha Banks were moved to RAW, so that feud will also continue on Smackdown. Likewise, Roman Reigns and Jey Uso also stayed put. The only act to move to RAW was the tandem of Bray Wyatt and Alexa Bliss.

The report notes that FOX doesn’t need Smackdown in the same way that USA needs RAW. Without WWE programming on USA, the network will drop severely in the ratings. FOX is heavily into sports and with sports rights escalating, the belief is that niche sports (like pro wrestling) would have a difficult time landing a new deal. Smackdown would be fine with their current numbers, but if they continue to drop 25% each year, it could hurt their chances. So, keeping the angles that are likely to keep fans watching on the show makes sense.