It is not unheard of for sports to do well on Christmas and into the new year. Both the NFL and NBA broadcast games on December 25 and January 1st and, to my admittedly limited knowledge, do just fine.
So why does the knowledge that, likely at the behest of USA Network, WWE will be airing live Monday Night RAWs on both holidays feel so scummy?
Make no mistake – I don’t like this move. What separates it from actual sports, for me, is the idea of an offseason. There is no offseason in wrestling, or even a hint of one. My belief that wrestlers should have staggered 3-month “personal offseasons” is a pipe dream at best from a company that labels their full-time employees “independent contractors” for no reason other than to screw them over. Even if we accept this state of things, there should be some brief time that the wrestlers know will be a respite from a schedule that has them wearing down their bodies most days of the week.
I don’t necessarily think that Christmas should universally be that time – Sami Zayn and Mustafa Ali should get Eid off and if Paul Heyman still practices then he shouldn’t have to cut promos during Hanukkah – but this is a step away from that ideal that just smells off. And while Reby Hardy has been known to be outspoken on Twitter, if her reaction is any indication, the talent’s families had no idea this was coming.
But let’s say you have to put out a RAW on Christmas, which, per TV deals, they actually probably do. It’s not like “holiday RAW” is ever must-see anything-can-happen TV. (Let us never forget when Cena had to avenge Santa Claus after Alberto Del Rio ran him over.) Shows that happen in London can be taped a few hours ahead of time, and those do have storyline development – the RAW leading to Survivor Series 2014 was entirely centered around the mystery of “whose side is Ryback on?” Somehow, the show survived that potential for spoilers. But we need to protect the wild suspense of Santa Claus’ fate, so Christmas RAW has to be live, unquestionably.
No taping on another day. No clip show. No slapped-together backstage show like the night after the 2015 Royal Rumble. It has to be live.
This isn’t a “war on Christmas” and I’m certainly not going to argue that we need to keep Christ in it. But this is a slight on a large portion of the locker room, who need to take their breaks where they can get them. And it’s been made clear that WWE won’t work around Christmas, or Hanukkah, or Eid, or any holiday, if it would inconvenience them.
Written by Bobby Murphy (@RobertJMurph)
Image courtesy of WWE.com
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