New Name For SmackDown On FOX, NXT Title Fight Set
Another name change is coming to SmackDown ahead of the FOX debut, while former UFC fighter Matt Riddle will challenge for NXT gold
Name-Change Planned For SmackDown Move To FOX
Over the years, SmackDown has had been called various things, but the word “SmackDown” has always been included. Now, plans are in place for a new name for the show as the move to FOX nears closer and closer.
According to a report by PWInsider, Smackdown Live will now be referred to as WWE Friday Night SmackDown starting with the Friday, October 4 debut on FOX. The WWE and FOX signed a five-year contract with more than $1 billion and over $200 million annually to be the official home of the blue brand.
Along with the slight name change, rosters, commentary teams and the looks of the ring will all be changed over the WWE Draft in the coming days ahead of the switch. Raw and SmackDown brands are expected to have rosters solely for their exclusive show moving forward.
SmackDown first debuted in 1999 and is now in its 20th season with over 1,000 shows having aired. The program first aired on UPN followed by stints on The CW, MyNetworkTV, SyFy and most recently USA Network since 2016. All archived episodes of SmackDown are available for viewing on the WWE Network.
Matt Riddle To Challenge NXT Champion Adam Cole
Former UFC fighter Matt Riddle will get his shot at becoming the NXT champion when he challegens Adam Cole for the title at next Wednesday’s NXT episode on the USA Network.
Riddle scored a victory over Killian Dain in a street fight at the most recent WWE NXT episode to become the No. 1 contender to Cole.
The 33-year-old Riddle competed in MMA from 2008 until 2014, first appearing on The Ultimate Fighter 7. A four-fight win streak positioned him as a possible contender, but failed drug tests for marijuana ultimately derailed his MMA career.
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Riddle also competed for both Bellator MMA and Titan FC before signing with the WWE and joining NXT in 2018. He made his debut in October of that year and has had matches with Velveteen Dream and Kassius Ohno before his feud with Dain that revolved around naming the No. 1 contender to Cole.
The WWE is putting together as stacked of an episode of NXT as they can as the program will air opposite the TNT debut of AEW Dynamite that very same night. Along with Riddle challenging Cole, NXT women’s champion Shayna Bazler will put her title on the line against Candice LeRae and NXT tag team champions Kyle O’Reilly and Bobby Fish will face The Street Profits.