During a recent episode of Something To Wrestle with Bruce Prichard, the WWE Executive discussed the original plan for Shotgun Saturday Night. Here are the highlights:
Original idea of Shotgun Saturday Night:
“It wasn’t the ECW style. We were angling towards that younger audience that may have to be in midnight. ‘Hey, you’re coming home at midnight on a Saturday night.’ You look at that a lot of times, and that’s when those kids are looking for something else. It was live at midnight. It was kind of like the Saturday night special. You had to tune in to see what the hell was going on. Really, in the beginning, this was an experiment to see ‘will this nudge a new audience to kind of check it out and sample it?’ You were playing to a completely different audience than your normal syndication and primetime cable audience. Your syndicated show, you’re going live live, and you’re presenting a different show from a different locale every week. It was a different feel.”
WWE’s decision to stop taping the show:
“It was the reality of ‘alright, we’ve got pay-per-views on Sundays.’ To try to do a show from New York City on a Saturday night and then go wherever it is you’re hosting the pay-per-view on Sunday, basically became just not feasible. So, we experimented with the Denim and Diamonds in San Antonio. We experimented with different locales on the road, and some worked and some didn’t. But then it kind of became, we have the syndicated timeslot, and is it really worth the trouble? You have live events, and are you gonna pull Bret or Undertaker off of that? Is that worth the potential loss on the live events to bring them in to do a Shotgun Saturday Night? It eventually got down to dollars and cents. We can essentially produce it for free at a television taping, and it’s another hour of taping which equates to 30 minutes of action in the arena, so you can do that before you went live with Raw. Just budget-wise, it made sense. We tried it for a while, but even with the number of clubs and venues that were really interested in New York, it still got down to, once you hit those 19 or 20, then what? Do you go back to those 19 or 20? It was kind of a failed experiment more than anything.
H/T to 411 Mania for the transcription