States have reopened, kids are going back to school, sports are back on television, and WWE Hall-of-Famer President Donald Trump has declared that the United States is doing great in its handling of the coronavirus pandemic. So why the hell is WWE still taping all its pro wrestling shows? That's a good question and one that Vince McMahon has apparently pondered himself. And the Genetic Jackhammer was unable to find a satisfactory answer.
According to PWInsider, WWE has decided to combat the current ratings crisis by returning to live episodes of Raw and Smackdown, starting with the SummerSlam go-home episode of Smackdown set to air August 21st. The Raw the following week will also be filmed live, and the subsequent week will as well. The report doesn't project beyond that, nor does it profess to know whether NXT will also be airing live.
This is the latest in McMahon's attempts to pull WWE's ratings out of the gutter, and the live taping schedule will also help better facilitate his propensity to tear up the scripts and rewrite the show from scratch. This way, he can rewrite the script right up to the minute before the show airs. Hell, he can make changes live during the show again. That's got to feel really reassuring.
Of course, the only true cure for Vince's anxiety will be higher ratings. Going live isn't necessarily going to help much there unless it's accompanied by compelling storylines and a sense of urgency that makes Raw feel like a show you have to watch if you don't want to miss out on the action, as opposed to three hours of torture. Unless WWE has found a way to hold shows with fans — and they are certainly trying, at least for SummerSlam — it doesn't actually make much of a difference whether the shows are taped or live, since they're taking place in the controlled environment of the WWE Performance Center with a paid crowd of trainees either way.