The preliminary buy rate for Judgement Day was quite favourable, with 244,000 buys in total and 154,000 in North America. Last year’s event finished at 240,000 with 158,000 domestic buys, so this year’s is all but guaranteed to surpass it.
The latest on Smackdown possibly going live is that it is not going to happen anytime before the pre-WrestleMania 25 show next April. The costs and scheduling problems for the production crew would be substantial and probably not worthwhile, since previous live Smackdowns (and TNA Impacts) have not seen increased ratings. Also, a lot of the production workers that currently work for WWE on Mondays and Tuesdays are freelancers that also cover sports events on weekends, so if they wanted live Friday broadcasts they would need to hire new people or reach new deals with the current staff.
According to reports in Mexico, WWE did offer Dos Caras Jr a contract after his recent try-out match. However, Caras Jr was said to have turned down the deal when John Laurinaitis told him he would have to attend developmental to learn how to work American style first.
According to Dave Meltzer, there is some major behind-the-scenes political conflict in TNA just now, with various factions assigning blame for the below-average ratings of late. TNA management live and die by the weekly TV ratings and Samoa Joe, as champion, is being made into a scapegoat by some of the higher-ups in the company. Of course, it was Joe’s program with Kurt Angle that did the best business the promotion has ever seen.
Credit: Wrestling Observer Newsletter, 14 July 2008 (subscribe here)
Tags: judgment day, Kurt Angle, Samoa Joe, Smackdown, TNA, WWE