WWE ran Raw on Christmas last year because it happened to fall on a Monday, but this year it appears they are doing things a bit differently Since Christmas falls on a Tuesday this year, that means the WWE Superstars are actually going to get a holiday break this year.
The Wrestling Observer Newsletter noted that WWE will pre-tape Raw and SmackDown Live this year for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. They expect to do low ratings, and it could possibly be the lowest rating in SmackDown Live history since their Tuesday night move.
The WWE Superstars will have December 19th through the 26th off, if they are booked for the Madison Square Garden show on the day after Christmas, but there is also a live event going on in Chicago as well so that means most of them will get back to work on the 26th. It might not be much time off, but seven days is a big vacation for WWE Superstars who are in a profession where Superstars have historically worked every day and twice on Saturday and Sunday.
The Superstars are also off New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Therefore, they’re not doing live shows at that time either.
The current plans are to tape Raw live on December 17th and then tape a second episode of Raw which will air on December 24th directly after the live broadcast. This could be interesting, but they will be in Sacramento, so Raw is over at 8:00 pm for them. It was speculated that they might tape a lot of backstage segments for the Christmas Eve show so they can keep it down to around two hours in length for the live crowd who stays after the live show’s conclusion.
They will do the same thing for SmackDown Live on December 18th in Fresno. At this time, it’s unclear how WWE will handle 205 Live or Main Event tapings.
The idea is that WWE will repeat the same kind of process for New Year’s by taping an extra Raw after the Detroit show on December 28th and SmackDown on the following night in Pittsburgh. Those might be harder shows to keep a live crowd at considering that they’re in the Eastern time zone.