WWE’s Return Date To Saudi Arabia, SmackDown’s Schedule
WWE's deal with Fox takes effect in October, creating a new live event schedule for the SmackDown brand. It won't affect RAW, but bumped Crown Jewel.
The touring schedule for the SmackDown roster is now set for the premiere of the B-show on Fox this fall and the date for WWE’s next trip to Saudi Arabia is also penciled in, albeit with a slight change.
First, when the blue brand makes the jump to Fox on Friday nights this October it will begin a new weekly touring schedule including weekend live events on that day of the week, according to PWInsider.
SmackDown, which will be live like it currently is on Tuesdays, begins the loop that will continue with house shows — typically not televised — on Saturdays and Sundays. The exception, of course, is the one or occasional two Sundays a month that is home to a pay-per-view.
Four Days a Week
The Wrestling Observer noted, in a story corroborating PWInsider, touring would start on Thursdays after the debut on Fox. Bolstering the Observer’s report is a live event scheduled for a Thursday night in October, though it is only one. A SmackDown event emanating from the Corbin Arena in Corbin, Kentucky (home state of the original developmental territory, Ohio Valley Wrestling) is booked for Thursday, October 17th.
As with any card, this is subject to change even if it is a safe bet it won’t. WWE returned to Kentucky this year for this time in nearly a decade. State athletic commission regulations against blood in matches kept them from running shows since 2010.
WWE’s customary road schedule is four shows a week and SmackDown presently conducts tours beginning Saturday and running through Tuesday when SmackDown Live airs. RAW tours Fridays to Mondays, conversely. When SmackDown kicks off on its new home, the Raw brand will hold on to its usual touring schedule. Untelevised events will run on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays before wrapping the loop up with the weekly live RAW (still broadcasting on the USA Network like it normally does).
RAW house shows are not expected to create conflicts with live SmackDown broadcasts — barring any booking snafus with talent who might cross brands for a night — but SD’s new schedule did cause the move of another show. Reportedly, Crown Jewel, WWE’s new yearly signature held in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and aired exclusively on WWE Network, was supposed to be held on November 1st, a Friday.
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PWInsider reported that Crown Jewel 2019 will see WWE return to the Saudi Kingdom on Halloween, Oct. 31st, which is a Thursday. The show will take place at King Saud University Stadium in Riyadh, the venue of the inaugural WWE Crown Jewel in 2018.
WWE signed a ten-year deal with the country’s General Sports Authority to run shows there. Crown Jewel 2019 will be the fourth event held under the lucrative agreement.
SmackDown premieres on Fox Oct. 4th.