WWE SmackDown Live will move to FOX in October next year when the TV network signed "Blue Brand" for a five-year, $ 1 billion deal earlier this year. They would like Ronda Rousey to be part of the show, and promoting the concept SmackDown is a more sportscentric show.
By 2018, SmackDown Live has gone blue. True in terms of quality and while WWE decided to book their FOX-bound show to lose 6-1 on the Survivor Series, fans have clearly noticed a difference in quality throughout the year.
This week's episodes of both shows gave an example of SmackDowns superior quality. Raw was an embarrassment with Drake Maverick who urinated on Bobby Roode's gown as a highlight, while SmackDown made her exciting Women's Division a key component of the show, and ordered a dream record, ladder and chair match between master Becky Lynch, Asuka and "Bootleg Becky" (Charlotte Flair).
FOX must be impressed with the quality of SmackDown Live this year, but they seem interested in impressing with their own vision on the Tuesday night show. WrestlingInc.com's Justin LaBar reports that FOX wants Ronda Rousey to be a member of the SmackDown roster in October 2019 when SmackDown Live officially moves from the US network to FOX. (The first episode on FOX airs on Friday, 4th of October)
This latest reported request from FOX is least surprising given that Rousey is the largest common name in WWE. With bad blood among the top stars Rousey, Becky and Charlotte, the move could be sensible, even if either Becky or Charlotte moves to Raw. And if Asuka remains a member of the SmackDown roster, it may be a good story there especially after the fans cheered loudly when Becky bothered to choose Asuka as Rousey's Survivor Series opponent.
Earlier this year, Wrestling Observer Newss Dave Meltzer reported that FOX, who previously owned the TV rights to the UFC, wants WWE SmackDown to take more of a "sports direction" on their performances, even cross-promoting SmackDown Live on its sports talk show or NFL broadcasts .
So the news that they want Rousey to appear on SmackDown Live makes sense for FOX. It also makes a world of reason for WWE because Rousey does not want anything to do on Raw in October 2019. She has already driven through almost all the heels of the Raw Women Division, and it's just about a handful of switches she have not met yet.
In addition, if FOX is interested in having more previous MMA stars on SmackDown, given that they apparently want the current UFC star Daniel Cormier on comments, Rousey may join Shayna Baszler, Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir if they two The latter NXT stars are considered ready for a call then.
Rousey moves to SmackDown Live in 2019 seems an inevitability, and the FOX agreement is just an extra – and strong – reason to do that.
The only question is she will move from Raw to SmackDown during Superstar Shakeup after WrestleMania, where she probably will meet Becky or Charlotte (or both)? Or will WWE, as LaBar wonders in his report, wait to move Rousey and some other superstars this fall when SmackDown goes over to FOX and a new look?
SmackDown has been a nice show this year and fans will hope that changes in format, changes in comment, and addition of Rousey do not stop the momentum of a weekly program that has been a fun breath, especially when compared to raw.
The SmackDown Women's Division has been particularly brilliant, shining more than any WWE division lately, so hopefully, Rousey adds to it instead of deteriorating it. Although she has held back the storylines of the Raw Women's Division this year, perhaps a more sports-centric approach helps Rousey focus on her in-ring work and less on her offensive promos.