– With the arrival of the new ‘WWE Superstars’ show in April, it will probably mark the end of the bi-weekly Smackdown tapings that have been done as a cost-cutting measure, as WGN’s parent company The Tribune Company is paying an undisclosed sum for broadcasting rights. With an additional hour of taping, it would necessitate three hour tapings on both Mondays and Tuesdays weekly to fill six hours of first-run programming each and every week.
WWE.com posted a brief statement regarding the announcement of the show, and the last sentence of the statement pretty much confirms it being a show featuring all-new matches. It reads: “The new program, scheduled to debut in April 2009, will give the WWE Universe the opportunity to watch Superstars from Raw, SmackDown and ECW mix it up in the ring together on one program.”
Another big clue in ‘WWE Superstars’ being a first-run series is the timing of the show’s debut, which is scheduled for April. WWE’s current taping schedule has ECW tapings before Raw and some double SmackDown tapings lined up through the end of March — just before WrestleMania. WWE has already scheduled dates for Raw tapings after WrestleMania, and the shows are simply advertised as “Monday Night Raw” as opposed to “Monday Night Raw/ECW.” Also, the double SmackDown taping phase was reportedly only supposed to go through WrestleMania. April would be the ideal time to regularly tape a fourth show, presumably before Raw with ECW getting taped before SmackDown again. This should probably explain why the show isn’t starting sooner, as they’re waiting for the haphazard taping schedule to clear up at the end of March.
– As reported last week, Barry Windham, 48, was recently let go as a producer in WWE. His release from the company may have actually taken place the week Bruce Prichard was let go as rumors popped up then saying he had been let go. Both hadn’t been around in a few weeks and people assumed they had been given time off.
– Jeff Hardy’s reaction and match with Edge at a SmackDown brand house show at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina last weekend was a career highlight for him. It was the arena he went to as a child as it was the local Mecca for pro wrestling at the time. I live in Greensboro and if it weren’t for the Holidays, I would have made that show. Too bad.