According to the Wrestling Observer, WWE’s decision to return to live tapings for their weekly programming of Raw, NXT, and SmackDown was made by Vince McMahon early yesterday. Reports were that originally the company was planning on pre-recording content at the Performance Center through May 10th prior to McMahon changing his mind.
A potential reason for the change has to do with WWE’s deals with FOX and NBC Universal (USA). Both networks would normally allow a limited number of pre-taped shows, as their sell was to be live programming. However, this is mere speculation as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has changed a lot of what was expected. The report claims that WWE is pushing forward with live episodes so they don’t have to fear the networks changing up their agreed upon deals. Whether the fear of losing money is solely on McMahon, or something the networks are pressuring WWE to do remains to be seen.
WWE has already had to cancel their upcoming Money In The Bank pay per view, as well as their annual post-WresteMania European tour.