WWE, TNA announce big changes for their television shows
MATT BISHOP - SLAM! Wrestling
In less than an hour Thursday, the professional wrestling television landscape was greatly altered.
WWE started the buzz with an afternoon tweet from former WWE Champion John Cena saying that, starting July 23, WWE's flagship program, Monday Night Raw, will be moving to three hours each week.
Minutes later, TNA president Dixie Carter broke the news that her company's flagship show, Impact Wrestling, will be going live this summer, starting May 31 when the show moves to 8 p.m. ET.
It has become customary for WWE to hold a handful of three-hour Raw specials during the course of the year, but this new move is taking a page directly out of the old WCW playbook, as its big show, Monday Nitro, was a three-hour broadcast for nearly two years during its heyday in 1998-99.
For Impact, which has held live shows very rarely, the commitment to going live is only for the summer, as the company said in a press release.
“We are excited to take Impact Wrestling live all summer long, and have our first live summer show launch our new 8 p.m. ET time slot,” Carter said. “Summer of 2012 is going to be remembered as the most momentous time in our company's history-to-date. Stay tuned."
WHAT YOU THINK
So, Monday Night Raw will always be three hours long starting in late July. Your thoughts?
Can't wait! - 15%
Bad move - 41%
I just tape it and fast-forward anyway - 32%
Never watch it - 12%
Raw's three-hour show will begin with the 1000th episode of the show from St. Louis. It is currently unclear how this will affect broadcast plans here in Canada, where the show is broadcast by The Score each week.
WWE's last three-hour Raw was held in April and did not feature some sort of hook as three-hour Raw shows usually do, whether it's a draft, a people's choice night or the Slammy Awards.
Stay tuned to SLAM! Wrestling for more as this story develops.
Matt Bishop can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name and hometown. Click here to follow Matt on Twitter. Should be a good one!.