The Wrestling Drive on Smackdown Live Moving To Fox

After a way too lengthy hiatus, the wrestling drive returns to look at all things WWE with the big news that Smackdown Live appears to be moving to Fox!  Check out the wrestling drive below as we talk about all the speculation surrounding WWE’s apparent move back to network television

 

The Spotlight On The 25th Anniversary of Monday Night Raw

Huge news in the world of WWE today as it was announced that for the first time in its history WWE Monday Night Raw with take place live and air from two separate locations. In honor of its 25th Anniversary, WWE Monday Night Raw will emanate live from the Barclays Center as well as the Manhattan Center on January 22nd, 2018. This is the first time that WWE has ran a live broadcast from two different locations in a number of years, the most famous being Wrestlemania which aired live from Los Angeles, California, Chicago Illinois, and Long Island, New York. Of course, the Manhattan Center was the site of the first ever Monday Night Raw taping way back on January 11th, 1993. This is the first time that WWE has ran the Manhattan Center since a taping of WWEECW back in 2006 when the crowd infamously turned on a Batista Vs. Big Show match by chanting such chants as “Change The Channel”. It’s interesting to point out that the original episodes of Raw were actually taped in the Grand Ballroom which is the smaller of the venues in Manhattan Center, along with the most familiar Hammerstein Ballroom. It’ll be interesting to see in WWE decides to run the Grand Ballroom or sticks with the Hammerstein Ballroom, which is more commonly used for bigger events such as ECW pay per views back in the early 2000s and, more recently, Ring of Honor’s annual Final Battle Pay Per View.
WWE announced that The Undertaker, Shawn Micahels and Kevin Nash will all be making appearances at the Manhattan Center portion of the taping. This is pretty cool as both Michaels and The Undertaker both competed on the very first edition of Monday Night Raw. From this tidbit, I would think that the Manhattan Center taping will be more appearance centered with not as big of an emphasis on the matches taking place at the Center whereas the taping taking place at the Barclays Center having more of a focus on in ring matches. (though matches are also listed as taking place at the Manhattan Center so there will be matches on both shows). Pwinsider broke a story last week that WWE has already confirmed a DVD release on the 25 years of WWE Raw. While nothing is confirmed for the DVD, it would be fair to assume that this special will be included on the DVD and some post Raw dark matches for the live Manhattan Center crowd would make for good DVD extras if they decide to go that route. 
While it still is over 2 months away from the 25th Anniversary of Raw, and a lot can change, this is the first advertised WWE appearance of the Undertaker following his loss to Roman Reigns at Wrestlemania. It’ll be interesting to see if Undertaker is there merely for an appearance or if perhaps he will be there to kick off his involvement at next year’s Wrestlemania. I should add that it’s interesting that Undertaker is being promoted as a Legend, which is usually a term used for WWE Superstars following their retirement from active in ring competition, but I wouldn’t read too much into that as The Undertaker hasn’t been a full time performer for WWE since 2010. 
Lastly, it is important to point out that WWE is promoting that both Superstars from Raw and Smcakdown Live will be in attendance from both venues. This is the first time both superstars from Raw and Smackdown Live have been advertised as appearing together since last year’s draft with the exception of the big four pay per view events (Royal Rumble, Wrestlemania, Summerslam and Survivor Series). The 25th Anniversary of Raw will also take place on the go home episode of Raw before the 2018 Royal Rumble (the final Raw before the Royal Rumble), taking place just 6 days beforehand.  
The fact that WWE is making such a big deal over the 25th Anniversary of Raw comes as no surprise, they did big special editions of Raw for the 10th Anniversary, the 15th Anniversary and, more recently, the 1000th Episode of Raw which ended up being the start of Monday Night Raw expanding to three hours permanently. It’ll be interesting to see what types of special events and announcements WWE will announce for the 25th Anniversary of Raw and, as always, you can keep it locked right here to thedailyspotlght.com as updates continue to come in. For those interested, the official press release for the 25th Anniversary of Monday Night Raw is attached below. 
WWE® to Celebrate 25th Anniversary of Raw® Live on USA Network on January 22

Tickets Available This Friday, November 3
STAMFORD, Conn.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– The 25th anniversary of Monday Night Raw® will emanate from Barclays Center and Manhattan Center in New York City on Monday, January 22, 2018, and air live on USA Network at 8/7C. Tickets are available for each event starting this Friday, November 3 through all Ticketmaster outlets, http://www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000.
WWE Superstars from both Monday Night Raw and SmackDown® Live will be at Barclays Center, while the event at Manhattan Center, the site of the first episode of Raw, will feature both WWE Superstars competing, and special appearances by WWE Legends Undertaker®, Shawn Michaels® and Kevin Nash®, amongst others. VIP packages, including a meet and greet with a WWE Legend, will be available for fans at Manhattan Center.
“We look forward to celebrating this unmatched milestone with our fans around the world, but 25 years only marks the beginning of WWE surprising, delighting and entertaining generations to come,” said WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon.
Monday Night Raw debuted on January 11, 1993 from the Manhattan Center, and since that time, has been broadcast from iconic venues around the world. Raw is the longest-running, weekly episodic program in U.S. primetime TV history and is one of the most-watched, regularly scheduled programs on cable, airing live every Monday night on USA. Each week, it is rated one of the most socially active shows and continues to be a “must-stop” for celebrities to reach WWE’s TV audience and its more than 825 million social media followers. Raw has aired more original episodes than some of the most popular television series of all time, including The Simpsons, Gunsmoke, Lassie and Monday Night Football.
In its 25-year history, Raw has also helped launch the careers of pop-culture icons including Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Undertaker, Triple H, John Cena and The Bella Twins.
About WWE
WWE, a publicly traded company (NYSE: WWE), is an integrated media organization and recognized leader in global entertainment. The company consists of a portfolio of businesses that create and deliver original content 52 weeks a year to a global audience. WWE is committed to family friendly entertainment on its television programming, pay-per-view, digital media and publishing platforms. WWE programming reaches more than 650 million homes worldwide in 20 languages. WWE Network, the first-ever 24/7 over-the-top premium network that includes all live pay-per-views, scheduled programming and a massive video-on-demand library, is currently available in more than 180 countries. The company is headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with offices in New York, Los Angeles, London, Mexico City, Mumbai, Shanghai, Singapore, Dubai, Munich and Tokyo.
Additional information on WWE (NYSE: WWE) can be found at wwe.com and corporate.wwe.com. For information on our global activities, go to http://www.wwe.com/worldwide/.
Trademarks: All WWE programming, talent names, images, likenesses, slogans, wrestling moves, trademarks, logos and copyrights are the exclusive property of WWE and its subsidiaries. All other trademarks, logos and copyrights are the property of their respective owners.
Forward-Looking Statements: This press release contains forward-looking statements pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which are subject to various risks and uncertainties. These risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, risks relating to: WWE Network; major distribution agreements; our need to continue to develop creative and entertaining programs and events; the possibility of a decline in the popularity of our brand of sports entertainment; the continued importance of key performers and the services of Vincent K. McMahon; possible adverse changes in the regulatory atmosphere and related private sector initiatives; the highly competitive, rapidly changing and increasingly fragmented nature of the markets in which we operate and greater financial resources or marketplace presence of many of our competitors; uncertainties associated with international markets; our difficulty or inability to promote and conduct our live events and/or other businesses if we do not comply with applicable regulations; our dependence on our intellectual property rights, our need to protect those rights, and the risks of our infringement of others’ intellectual property rights; the complexity of our rights agreements across distribution mechanisms and geographical areas; potential substantial liability in the event of accidents or injuries occurring during our physically demanding events including, without limitation, claims relating to CTE; large public events as well as travel to and from such events; our feature film business, including anticipated release, marketing or involved talent for upcoming titles and productions; our expansion into new or complementary businesses and/or strategic investments; our computer systems and online operations; privacy norms and regulations; a possible decline in general economic conditions and disruption in financial markets; our accounts receivable; our revolving credit facility; litigation; our potential failure to meet market expectations for our financial performance, which could adversely affect our stock; Vincent K. McMahon exercises control over our affairs, and his interests may conflict with the holders of our Class A common stock; a substantial number of shares are eligible for sale by the McMahons and the sale, or the perception of possible sales, of those shares could lower our stock price; and the relatively small public “float” of our Class A common stock. In addition, our dividend is dependent on a number of factors, including, among other things, our liquidity and historical and projected cash flow, strategic plan (including alternative uses of capital), our financial results and condition, contractual and legal restrictions on the payment of dividends (including under our revolving credit facility), general economic and competitive conditions and such other factors as our Board of Directors may consider relevant. Forward-looking statements made by the Company speak only as of the date made and are subject to change without any obligation on the part of the Company to update or revise them. Undue reliance should not be placed on these statements. For more information about risks and uncertainties associated with the Company’s business, please refer to the “Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” and “Risk Factors” sections of the Company’s SEC filings, including, but not limited to, our annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q.

The Spotlight On WWE Bringing Back Starrcade

Big news out of WWE today as it was announced that WWE will be reviving Starrcade, WCW’s flagship event, as it will be returning to the Greensboro Coliseum on Saturday Night, November th 25th, 2017. The event will take place just 6 days after WWE Survivor Series which will now be a huge week for the company.  
For those who don’t know, Starrcade was in many ways Wrestlemania before there was Wrestlemania, it was the biggest annual show for World Championship Wrestling that took place from 1983 until 2000. The first three Starrcade events took place at this historic Greensboro Coliseum, the site of the revived Starrcade Event later this year. 
The card has already been released for the event so far being headlined by 2 Steel Cage matches for both to World Championship and the Womens Championship. The Card is as follow
WWE Championship Steel Cage Match- Jinder Mahal (c) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura

WWE Smackdown Womens Championship Steel Cage Match- Natalya (c) vs. Charlotte Flair

WWE United States Champonship Triple Threat Match- AJ Styles (c) vs. Rusev vs. Baron Crobin

WWE Tag Team Championship Match- The New Day (c) vs. The Usos

Grudge Match- Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn

Bobby Roode vs. Dolph Ziggler

The Fashion Police Vs. Mike Kanellis & Aiden English
Plus Appearances By: The Hardy Boyz, Ricky “The Dragon” Steamboat, The Rock N Roll Express & More.  
The story for this show is clearly Charlotte Flair. On all of the promotional material from the Greensboro Coliseum she is being heralded as “North Carolina’s Own”. Thus, it would make sense and be quite the story for the Women to go on last and have Charlotte main event the event in which he father, WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair, main evented the first ever Starrcade at the same arena.  
This is purely speculation but this would also be the perfect time for Ric Flair to make his return to the company following at health scare. Flair is synonymous with Starrcade, having main evented the first 8 events and is also originally from North Carolina, where he still has a big presence to date. It would be quite the moment to have the show close by having Charlotte Flair win the womens championship and having Ric to return to present her with the belt.  
While this is great for long time fans, especially those former WCW fans clamoring for the return of some of their favorite WCW events like War Games, World War 3 and the aforementioned Starrcade, we should probably hold off on getting too excited. While the event is confirmed and will be a great night, it unfortunately has not yet been promoted as anything more than a live event, meaning that unless you’re their live you may not be able to see the event. That being said, it’s still early and you would hope that if WWE is spending the time and effort to bring back Starrcade, especially by bringing in the legends, that it would be aired as a network special. Regardless it’ll be great to have WWE back during Thanksgiving weekend and it’ll be great to see the return of Starrcade! 

Live Coverage Of The Seth Rollins ESPN Announcement 

Seth Rollins is about to make his big announcement on ESPN Sportscenter. We will have live coverage of the announcement right here on thedailyspotlight.com.

A reminder that Roman Reigns will be making a big announcement of his own tonight on Monday Night Raw regarding his status for Summerslam 

Seth Rollins big announcement on ESPN is that he will be on the cover of WWE 2K18. 

Rollins came across real well during the interview appearing in a full suit. He said that being on the cover of the WWE 2K18 is a dream come true as he has always had a goal to get to the top of the mountain & this is just the next step in that goal. 

Rollins spoke about his injuries and how they were a bit of a setback but that he “doesn’t want to die without any scars” and that he’s feeling a lot better now. He then spoke about his match at Wrestlemania with Triple H saying that Triple H is unlike anyone he’s ever been in the ring with before a total world class athlete. 

The interview ended with Rollins being asked about the upcoming Floyd Mayweather-Conor McGregor fight & said that he would be surprised if McGregor was even able to land one punch but that if he did, he does have some real power so who knows. When asked who he thought had a better chance McGregor of beating Mayweather or his Bears winning the Super Bowl, Rollins said that his Bears were 3-13 last year & are a rebuilding team but he thinks McGregor has such little chance that he still has to go with the Bears. Ouch! 

ESPN Currently has an article up with the official announcement of Rollins being on the cover of 2k18 that you can check out right here http://www.espn.com/wwe/story/_/id/19675597/seth-rollins-appear-cover-wwe-2k18

This is a really big deal for Rollins as he becomes just the 2nd member of the full time roster to be on the cover of the 2K game in the last 5 years and the first since John Cena back for 2K15! 

Overall a really cool little piece on Rollins & a big deal for WWE to have ESPN break this story on Sportscenter.