Vince McMahon and WWE officials have tried numerous tactics to fix the company's television ratings problems - ranging from the wild card rule to hiring two influential figures in Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff.
The WWE chairman has never been afraid to try bold ideas, but this latest plan might be among the more curious ones yet. According to wrestling insider Brad Shepard, WWE has been "rescheduling" segments for SmackDown Live over to Monday Night Raw - believing it will boost TV ratings.
According to a source in #WWE, the company keeps rescheduling #SDLive segments to #RAW thinking it will help ratings. There are quite a few #SDLive talents backstage today - the source referred to the wild card rule as “bullsh*t.”— Brad Shepard (@TheBradShepard) July 29, 2019
It wasn't specified which segments have been moved from SmackDown to Raw, but that's not the main story here. It's interesting enough that WWE seems more worried about Raw on its own, rather than the two shows altogether.
Raw has always been the bigger show, and it appears that Vince and co. are more worried about fixing the ratings there before focusing on trying to enhance SmackDown's viewership.
Per Showbuzz Daily (h/t WrestlingInc.com), last week's Raw reunion special netted 3.093 million viewers -- the best rating for the show since the Aug. 20, 2018 episode. This was a significant jump from the 2.453 million viewers for the July 15 episode of Raw. The July 8 episode had just 2.352 million viewers, so it's been a nice improvement over the last two weeks.
In addition to introducing the wild card rule, WWE hired Heyman and Bischoff to take over as the new Executive Directions of Raw and SmackDown, respectively. We're already seeing Heyman's ideas and long-term plans take place, whereas Bischoff hasn't assumed his new role yet. But given their successful track records, it's safe to believe that WWE ratings will have nowhere to go but up over the long run.
What This Means
It's not surprise that WWE seems more bent on fixing Raw's ratings first, but it may not be a wise idea to keep moving planned SmackDown segments over to the flagship program. SmackDown needs plenty of attention as well, and the ratings there are not as strong as Raw's. At any rate, moving SmackDown segments to Raw is probably only a short-term move by WWE - until the TV ratings go back up on a consistent basis.