Reaction Zone - Another stupid move

In a head-scratching move, WWE announced today that "Talking Smack", their post-Smackdown talk show, would be scaled back to air after Smackdown-centric PPV's only, effective with Battleground on July 23. Some will see this for what it is, another cost-cutting move to save money on production costs, since it tapes concurrently with the live broadcast of 205 Live on Tuesday nights, and follows the latter show.

Others will see this as an example of CEO/Chairman Vince McMahon's continuing disregard for company progress in the 21st century. People still look at one of the earliest episodes in the series last year, when Miz & Daniel Bryan had a verbal sparring session for the ages, as many claim, as one of the best episodes of the series, topping its Raw-centric companion, "Raw Talk", which is also a monthly series.

One of the things that separates Smackdown, the younger of the two flagship shows, from Raw is its creativity. Would they have taken a chance on Jinder Mahal as a main eventer on Raw? Highly unlikely. There's a reason Brian "Road Dogg" James is on Smackdown's creative team. He's just the kind of guy they need in the creative office, someone who's been in the trenches, if you will, someone who knows exactly what today's superstars need to get over. Does Vince have anyone like that on Raw? Nope. There's no buzz around Raw, and, as we discussed last time, they're reaching into the recycling bin, or so it'd seem, for an old angle.

Obviously, Raw is still Vince's pride & joy. He doesn't like the low ratings, obviously, and likes it even less when the critics rave about Smackdown, and slam Raw. All this says is that it's one more reason for Triple H to take over, and send Vince off to semi-retirement (Chairman Emeritus, anyone?). Vince's not doing as much traveling as he once did, due partially to age (he'll be 72 next month), so even he knows, despite his claims to the contrary, that retirement is a very real possibility, whether he likes it or not.

There are people, knowing that 205 Live isn't exactly pulling eyeballs toward WWE Network on Tuesdays, who believe the cruiserweight show may be the next to go. I've got a better idea. Rather than confine 205 Live and the forthcoming Mae Young Classic to the network, why not have USA simulcast the two? It would be a great way to promote the network for anyone who hasn't yet tried it, or for those who don't have internet access, and there are still a few of those folks, a chance to see what all the buzz is about.

Bear in mind, too, that the cruiserweight & women's tournaments, as well as the annual Dusty Rhodes tag team classic tournament in NXT, are Triple H's ideas. Vince's not willing to entrust his son-in-law with the whole enchilada just yet, but maybe he should. By confining the tournaments to the network, he's letting Hunter know in no uncertain terms that now's not the time.

Sorry, Vince, but, in the words of a certain tag team, it's a new day, yes, it is!

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