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WRESTLING COLUMNS

Over The Ropes #2: Going Home Again
April 21, 2005 by Paul Jordan

As you probably already know, Spike TV has chosen to end airing WWE programming after September. Following this, it has been confirmed that RAW will indeed make a return to its old stomping grounds on the USA Network. Is this a good decision for the Monday night institution" Or will it prove true that you can never really go home again" The best way to understand this situation is to look at the past between the parties involved. Will the past foretell the future"

The relationship between the two actually began in the 80's with USA's parent company, NBC. NBC aired WWF specials such as Saturday Night Main Event from 1985 to 1992. While USA Network aired RAW's predecessor, Prime Time Wrestling, and WWF weekend programming. RAW then premiered in 1993 as an "edgier" version of late night wrestling. RAW started as a lead in for USA's adult oriented programming but in later years became a primetime juggernaut for the network.

Now, however, times have definitely changed. WWF left USA at the height of popularity in 2000. Since then, the company has undergone a name change and the high ratings garnered by the "Attitude" era has long since faded into distant memory. USA itself has gone through a maturation as a network with shows such as Monk and Kojak pulling in the older demographic. The network hopes that WWE can help them reclaim the pivotal 18-34 male audience and truth be told , the WWE probably will deliver.

My only question is how big of a priority will WWE programming have on the network" One of the reasons I thought WWE went to TNN/Spike TV because of pre-emption during the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show and the U.S. Open. I don't know about you but I like having RAW on at a dependable time every week. I know it's only twice a year but it was annoying. I guess Vince can't pass up a chance for a ride at Universal Studios.

I guess we'll wait and see what develops in September...

by Paul Jordan ..


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