Updates On Raw And Smackdown Getting New Sets, Jerry Lawler’s Announce Team Status

Next week is set to be one of the most important in modern pro wrestling history, with Smackdown moving to Friday nights on network television, and AEW Dynamite premiering with two live hours against the first full episode of NXT on USA Network with a “night of champions” theme.

This week’s Observer obviously focused around various notes, rumors, and observations for next week, confirming that pyro will return to WWE television, reminding us of the upcoming draft, and discussing new looks for both Raw and Smackdown.

“The idea is to give a facelift to a somewhat stale product, with new sets for Raw and Smackdown, new announcing teams and in a few weeks, new separate rosters.

“WWE is also going to bring back pyro to television. I mean, they’re getting so much money there’s no reason not to, because it’s again a little thing that fans like that AEW was expected to have, since they did with PPVs. WWE dropped it feeling it was an unnecessary cost and made no real difference when it came to ratings, but economics aren’t nearly as tight as they were when that decision was made.”

In addition to all of this, we got some notes on how the new announced Raw broadcast team of Vic Joseph, Dio Maddin, and Jerry Lawler came together. As it turns out, Lawler’s role on the show maybe only be temporary.

“Maddin had just been added to 205 Live to work with Joseph the last few weeks. Maddin was an out of the box pick by Paul Heyman. Joseph, who has done a good job with 205 Live, was also a Heyman pick to give the show a new look, but it was less out of the box. With Maddin, he had no experience at this but Heyman saw him and thought he could be successful as a new voice in this position.

“The return of Lawler is a surprise. Vince McMahon has always had age issues, and even though Lawler’s last comeback was strong, and it was obvious he was better in the role than anyone else, it was short-lived because of age. Lawler turns 70 in late November. He does have decades of experience at this but his return after being put out to pasture is usually not a move Vince makes. We’re also told this move is only temporary.”

Next week is going to be massive, so make sure you stick with us for ongoing updates, news, dramatic stage reveals — “it’s the Brooklyn Bridge!” — and discussions about why giving a 69-year old man three hours of live mic time every Monday night not be the best idea.

P.S. bring back the big fist.