Roman Reigns will finally make his first televised defense of the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship on this Friday’s episode of SmackDown against Matt Riddle. If Riddle loses, he will not be allowed to challenge Reigns for the title again. It is a huge match that many fans would have rather seen on the Money in the Bank card.
There is a method to WWE’s madness. WWE has all the reasons in the world to do the match on SmackDown instead of at a premium live event. It all comes down to money.
On the latest Wrestling Observer Live, Bryan Alvarez was asked why WWE was not doing the Riddle vs Reigns match in Las Vegas. The listener noted that Money in the Bank will be in Riddle’s hometown. Alvarez explained that WWE has no financial incentive to do so.
“Well, the bigger issue is they want to make money and they’ve already made their money off Peacock. So, putting Roman Reigns on Money in the Bank means absolutely zero to WWE. They don’t make one dime if more people watch it because Roman Reigns is on there. But, if they do big SmackDown ratings as a result of Roman Reigns defending the title on the show, well, then it comes time to renew your television deal and you make even more money.
So, we knew this was going to happen when they sold to Peacock, and that is that you ain’t going to get those pay-per-views you used to get. You’re going to get something, and they’re going to give you matches, but like the big stuff, I mean it’s going to be at WrestleMania or it’s going to be in Saudi Arabia, or you know, wherever they’re going to give the most money for this stuff.”
WWE already gets paid from their Peacock deal whether they deliver big matches or not. On the other hand, television money is a huge part of the company’s overall revenue and will eventually be renegotiated. That’s why Riddle will challenge Reigns on television instead of at the PPV.
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Transcription by Ringside News