This week's roundup will take a look at a shakeup in the WWE commentary teams, TNA's Destination America debut and the possible WWE pay per view schedule for 2015.
-The WWE announced this week that starting Monday, there will be a change for their broadcast teams. RAW will be called by the team of Michael Cole, JBL and Booker T, while Smackdown, now on Thursdays, will be called by Cole, Jerry “The King” Lawler and Byron Saxton.
The timing makes it seem like it's a move to make Smackdown bigger, however, I believe this is a move to simply shake up the RAW broadcast.
At best, the team of Cole, King and JBL had gotten stale, and at worst, they were openly hostile toward each other (and not just for the show). The timing makes it seem like this is them moving Lawler away from RAW while still showing him some respect.
While I approve of the move to shake up the broadcast team, I don't know that Booker T adds much. He has not fared well in three-man booths before. If it was up to me, I would have switched Saxton and Booker in the teams, if they wanted to have Booker be part of the broadcasts. Saxton has shown a lot of potential on NXT, and you would still have JBL there to provide the ex-wrestler perspective.
All this being said, a shakeup was much-needed, so for the WWE to recognize this is a good thing. Hopefully this will go well, and if not, they'll be willing to tinker some more with the format.
- TNA's debut on Destination America was this week, and a few interesting things came from the show.
The first is that they have a new champion, as Lashley defeated Bobby Roode for the title. Also, several face wrestlers, Samoa Joe, Eric Young and Low Ki, turned heel while joining MVP.
The bigger personnel news was that Awesome Kong, aka Kharma, made her return to the wrestling ring. There were doubts she'd wrestle for a major company again after her pregnancy, and the complications stemming from that ended her WWE run.
While the show was good, the news regarding their viewership was mixed, at best. The good news was that they were the top show on Destination America for the week. The bad news was the premiere averaged 263,000 viewers, which equated to a .46 rating.
While it was expected that they would lose a chunk of their audience with the switch to Destination America, as it's available in far fewer households, it's hard to believe they expected a loss of nearly ¾ of their audience.
It's far too early to panic, as there was very little advertising for this on TV (Spike refused to air any promotion for the switch), so we'll have to see in upcoming weeks if that number grows.
- While unconfirmed, a full WWE PPV schedule has been making its way around the internet, courtesy of Sky Sports.
We know the first five, and Summerslam are correct, but the others are unconfirmed at this point. The interesting things to note are Battleground in July, which is rumored to get the Elimination Chamber match now that it's no longer in February, and Los Angeles getting Hell in a Cell in October, since Summerslam won't be there for the first time in six years.
Jan. 25: Royal Rumble, Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia
Feb. 22: Fast Lane, FedEx Forum in Memphis, Tenn.
March 29: WrestleMania 31, Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.
April 26: Extreme Rules, Allstate Arena in Chicago
May 17: Payback, Royal Farms Arena in Baltimore
June 14: Money In the Bank, Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio
July 19: Battleground, Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo.
Aug. 23: SummerSlam, Izod Center in East Rutherford, N.J.
Sept. 20: Night of Champions, Toyota Center in Houston, Texas
Oct. 25: Hell In a Cell, Staples Center in Los Angeles
Nov. 22: Survivor Series, Philips Arena in Atlanta
Dec. 13: TLC, TD Garden in Boston
Thoughts? Questions? Leave them in the comment section, email me or find me on Twitter: @TheAOster