WWE’s not giving Team Raw a night off on Dec. 26. They’ll be in Columbus, Ohio next Monday for a stop on the company’s Holiday Tour. But that’s never been advertised as a television taping, and there are reportedly has no plans to make it one.
Ditto the Madison Square Garden show the SmackDown roster is doing on the 26th. Both Wrestling Observer Radio’s Dave Meltzer (who first raised this issue a few weeks ago) and PWInsider say there are no plans to tape a second show before or after tonight’s live Raw broadcast from Des Moines, Iowa. This week’s SmackDown taped last Friday, and two weeks of NXT were filmed on Weds., Dec. 14... meaning there are no other opportunities for WWE to do a double-taping between now and next Monday.
So what will USA air from 8-11pm ET on Boxing Day?
No one is saying for sure. Insider’s story closed with, “It appears next week’s episode will be some sort of special, pre-taped holiday episode.” Meltzer reiterates that he was told Dec. 26 would either be taped tonight or “a ‘Best-Of’ show”, and applies the process of elimination since they’re not taping tonight.
Episodes consisting mostly of previously broadcast material, aka a clip show, are rare throughout Raw’s almost 30 year existence. But with the nearest
PPV PLE still a month away, the chances of ratings success in the midst of the holidays & with Monday Night Football not taking the night off, and a chance to double-up on that sweet holiday house show revenue... it looks like we’re getting one on Dec. 26.
That also means that after Raw tonight, WWE only has one more live television show on the docket for 2022 — the Dec. 30 SmackDown with John Cena.
It’s likely WWE will give us a better idea of their plans for next Monday on tonight’s broadcast. Follow along with that here.
UPDATE: It’s official. WWE advertised “The Absolute Best of 2022” for Dec. 26 during this week’s Raw...