Just like last year, WWE is facing a problem to arrange shows on Christmas and New Year. These two are key days of the Holiday Season where everyone wants to stay at home with their family. WWE decided to continue live TV taping even on these two nights, last year. This created a backlash around the pro-wrestling circuit. This is why this year both WWE Raw and Smackdown will go through a change for Christmas and New Year.
This year, WWE Raw will take place on Christmas Eve and Smackdown Live will take place on Christmas Day. According to a report from Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com, both these shows will avoid live TV airing just to keep in mind the superstars’ request from last year. Both the December 24th episode of WWE Raw and December 25th episode of Smackdown Live will get back the taped format.
As per the source, WWE will finish filming these two episodes one week earlier than the show airing. Here are the details from Johnson, (courtesy IWnerd.com),
“Johnson says that the current plan is for WWE to do double tapings the week prior to Christmas. They will be airing a live episode of RAW on December 17th, plus they will be taping extra matches for the Christmas episode. This will also be the case on the December 18th episode of Smackdown Live.”
Similarly, the December 31st, 2018 episode of RAW falls on New Year’s Eve this year. Smackdown Live lands on 1st January which is on the New Year’s Day. These two shows will also be pre-taped before USA Network airs it on their respective slots. Dave Meltzer of Wrestling Observer Newsletter has come up with some insider scoops about them.
WWE will tape the New Year’s Eve episode of WWE Raw on December 29th at the Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan. Subsequently, January 1st episode of Smackdown will happen on December 29th in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This early taping will give a long vacation to the WWE superstars.
Meltzer added that WWE Superstars will get an off from performing inside the ring from 19th to 21st December. They will also have both New Year’s Eve and Day off. This should keep the fans entertained as they will get to see their favorite superstars even during the Holiday season.