As we all know by now, FOX has acquired the rights to air SmackDown LIVE once the current deal expires and it has been reported that when the new deal between WWE & FOX takes effect SmackDown LIVE will be moving to Friday nights. Despite this new deal being worth a hefty amount of money, it still comes with a number of issues especially in scheduling. One of the issues that WWE will have to work out once the new deal for SmackDown LIVE with FOX goes into effect is the new schedule that will be followed by both the SmackDown LIVE talent and the SmackDown LIVE crew. In the past, some people had requested to be on the SmackDown crew instead of RAW because they had teenage sons who played football and this crew never worked on Fridays. That all changes now with SmackDown LIVE being moved to Friday nights and being an actual live episode.
Another change will be that as it stands right now, Friday – being the first day of the cycle – would be a live show as opposed to the way it currently is where the cycle starts with house shows and then culminates on Tuesdays with SmackDown. What this will mean is a change in the travel schedule for everyone because WWE wants all personnel at the arena early, often several hours before the show at the latest whereas for house shows, the talent can just arrive in the evening for the event.
This would mean that wrestlers would likely have to leave on Thursday in order to get to the arena by Friday afternoon and it would also mean not getting back home by Tuesday. One option would be to do a Thursday to Sunday schedule, with a house show to start off, then SmackDown and then house shows to end as this would eliminate one day (Monday) at the end of the cycle for them to be able to get back home. This would also avoid a live event going head-to-head against RAW. In any case, these decisions don’t have to be made by WWE for a long time since the move to FOX won’t happen until the fall of 2019.
Source: Wrestling Observer Newsletter